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Bowser LGBT ‘meet and greet’ draws more than 200

Muriel Bowser discussed her gay brother during an LGBT “meet and greet” at Number 9 on Tuesday. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

D.C. Council member and mayoral candidate Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) delivered a rousing speech Tuesday night at the Logan Circle gay bar Number 9 in an event billed as an LGBT “meet and greet” but which took on the air of a jubilant campaign rally.

With more than 200 people packed into the bar’s second floor lounge, Bowser pointed to the large number of prominent LGBT people supporting her and playing a key role on her campaign, including her gay brother Marvin Bowser.

“I’m so proud of my brother Marvin. I’m so proud of our whole team,” she told the gathering amid loud cheers and applause.

“People tell me Muriel you have the most gay friendly office in the whole D.C. Council,” she said. “We have the most gay friendly campaign in the history of the District of Columbia. And we’re going to run a government that is free and fair and equal for all Washingtonians.”

Among those attending the event were a number of prominent LGBT activists who supported Mayor Vincent Gray in the city’s April 1 Democratic primary.

Bowser, who defeated Gray in the primary by a substantial margin, has been competing with Council member David Catania (I-At-Large), one of her two main rivals in the November election, for the support of former Gray backers in the LGBT community and among other constituencies.

Transgender activists Ruby Corado and Jeri Hughes, who were strong Gray supporters during the primary campaign, were among the activists attending Tuesday night’s event for Bowser.

Gay activist and businessman Everett Hamilton, a volunteer campaign advisor to Bowser, pointed to what he called a highly diverse crowd of LGBT people attending the Bowser event, noting that the crowd appeared to be equally divided between blacks and whites, women and men, and young and older people.

“This is the kind of support we’re seeing across the board and in every corner of the city,” Hamilton said.

As she has at other campaign events, Bowser told the crowd at Number 9 that her campaign from its very beginnings earlier this year has reached out to all eight wards and every constituency.

“We’re not going to run a half city campaign,” she said. “We’re not going to run a white campaign, a black campaign, a straight campaign, a gay campaign. We’re going to run a Washington, D.C.-all-eight-ward campaign.”