By Mary Paden:
Mike Bloomberg came in first, followed by Amy Klobuchar and then Pete Buttigieg at a straw poll conducted by the Mt. Vernon District Democratic Committee on Sunday, Feb. 16.
The straw poll was taken at the committee’s annual Mardi Gras themed fundraiser, attended by 170 people including many local Democratic officials.
Surrogates for each candidate gave short speeches before the vote with former Alexandria Mayor Allison Silberberg representing Bloomberg and stressing his commitment to preventing gun violence and climate change. US Rep. Don Beyer spoke on behalf of Buttigieg, whom he had endorsed last year, and former Ct. Sen. Chris Dodd spoke on behalf of former vice President Joe Biden.
In the end, Bloomberg came in first with 63 votes, followed by Klobuchar with 24 and Buttigieg with 22. Trailing behind were Elizabeth Warren, 18, Bernie Sanders, 14, and Joe Biden, 12.
The poll is usually seen as an early test of the strength of campaigns’ ability to get out their supporters. Anyone who buys a ticket to the event can vote. The Bloomberg campaign bought a $5,000 sponsorship, which included a number of tickets, and staffed a table at the event. The candidate spoke the night before at a Democratic event in Richmond to a sold-out crowd of 1,600.
Beyer, who was also master of ceremonies, predicted that “we will all be together soon” following the March 3 primary in Virginia.
Local elected officials attending included Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chair Jeff McKay, Mt. Vernon District Supervisor Dan Storck, Lee District Supervisor Rodney Lusk, State Sen. Scott Surovell, School Board at-large member Karen Keyes-Gamara, and Occoquan Supervisor in Prince William County Kenny Boddye.
This was the 12th annual Mardi Gras sponsored by the Mt Vernon District Democratic Committee.
Main photo: Mt. Vernon Committee Chair Maritza Zermeño offers Mardi Gras & Straw Poll attendees the opportunity to take a replica of President Trump’s 2020 State of the Union address and “do a Nancy.” Photos by Prerana Korpe
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