Democratic mayoral nominee Muriel Bowser was scheduled to make a Capitol Hill cameo on Friday, but the Ward 4 Councilmember never made it.
Despite the no-show, her name and her race against independent challenger David Catania , an at-large member of the D.C. Council and a former registered Republican, were on the lips of national members of the Democratic Party this week. “Now one step closer to election as Mayor of our nation’s capital, Muriel is the most recent example of how our democracy is strengthened by women in positions of leadership and holding elected office," Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida said in a Wednesday statement congratulating Bowser on her primary victory.
On Thursday, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., formally endorsed Bowser, saying her "temperament, experience, and judgment are the right fit for the Mayoralty role in this city."
"Vince Gray was an excellent mayor and an excellent chair of the council," Norton told CQ Roll Call on Friday. "He was an excellent candidate. She's going to be an excellent mayor of the District of Columbia."
Norton said some members of the House, whom she declined to name, had already spoken to her about supporting Bowser. "I'm going to arrange for her to meet members who want to support her," she added as she exited a luncheon with about 35 DC Vote activists who were on the Hill as part of the annual lobby day that Bowser was slated to attend.
Between a Democratic Party breakfast intended to promote unity after a heated primary campaign and a live interview on WAMU's Kojo Nnamdi Show at noon, Bowser was too busy to make it to the advocacy event she RSVP'd to weeks ago.
"She wanted to be here," DC Vote Executive Director Kimberly Perry said during the noon break.
Advocates convened at 8:30 a.m. to kick off a full day of meetings with House and Senate offices. Perry said the Bowser campaign called Thursday and indicated the mayoral nominee would try to squeeze in some lobbying, if possible.
Bowser campaign manager Bo Shuff said in a 9:30 a.m. email that his boss would be headed to the Hill after the unity breakfast. He did not respond to follow-up questions from CQ Roll Call.
By noon, Perry still hadn't heard from the Bowser campaign, but was sympathetic to her demanding schedule. Perry said she would be briefing Bowser on the lobby day during a "Hill strategy" meeting next week.
If elected, Bowser has suggested she would invest in a "huge lobbying presence" on the Hill, "not just for our statehood activities, but all of our federal initiatives."