D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser described the two council members challenging her in the June Democratic primary as “equivocating and waffling” as she sought in a radio debate on Wednesday evening to portray herself as a proven leader deserving of a third term in office.
The debate, hosted by WAMU, exposed a range of policy differences among the three candidates who participated.
D.C. Council member Robert C. White Jr. said he opposes the construction of a new professional football stadium in the District and supports a ballot initiative that would mandate that restaurant workers be paid the minimum wage before tips. Bowser and council member Trayon White Sr. both said they supported bringing the Washington Commanders to the RFK Stadium site, and opposed Initiative 82.
On policing, Bowser maintained her push for a larger police force while Robert White and Trayon White maintained their hesitance to hire more officers instead of diverting funds to non-police alternatives. The council members differed on the question of police in schools, however, with Trayon White agreeing with Bowser that the city should restore the funding it cut for officers in school buildings.
“This generation has become more violent. Let’s be honest,” Trayon White said. “If you don’t have anybody with the authority to break up fights, it becomes extremely violent, with people getting jumped … To ignore that would be ignorant of me as a leader.”