Last month, it looked like the gay issues-focused Gertrude Stein Democratic Club would sit out of the mayor’s race. Maybe Pride Week invigorated the club, though, because the membership decided last night to endorse Democratic nominee Muriel Bowser after all.
After being caught between endorsing the Democratic candidate and gay, independent hopeful David Catania, the club voted to endorse the entire Democratic slate, including Bowser, 35 to 8. Last month, the club’s leadership had said it wouldn’t schedule a formal endorsement vote for Bowser and some other Democratic candidates.
The meeting took political feuding to an impressive level, even by LL’s standards, when a handful of Catania diehards tried every parliamentary trick they could think of to delay the inevitable. After losing an initial procedural vote by 34 to to a pro-Bowser voting bloc that included the candidate herself, the pro-Catania faction still tried to pull various maneuvers as it went down.
The Bowser attacks continued even after she won the group’s endorsement. After Bowser said in a candidate forum earlier in the meeting that she wouldn’t support legislation to fund the District’s shadow statehood delegation until they proved their worth, one Catania backer proposed that the club recommend that the next mayor not receive a salary until he or she does the same. That didn’t pass, either.
The endorsement loss angered at least one Catania supporter. As the meeting at the Human Rights Campaign’s Rhode Island Avenue NW office ended, Stein Club co-founder Paul Kuntzler went to the front of the room and talked about how the group had started in his living room…and he far he thought it had fallen since.
“This club is irrelevant,” Kuntzler declared, before storming out.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery