Article by Mary Paden. Photo provided by Mary Paden: Rep. Don Beyer was master of ceremonies at a Mt Vernon District Democratic Committee (MVDDC) straw poll and Mardi Gras fundraiser Sunday. MVDDC chair Maritza Zermeno joins him on stage.
Mike Bloomberg’s campaign racked up an impressive 63 votes in a straw poll for the Democratic Primate Sunday sponsored by the Mt Vernon District Democratic Committee (MVDDC). Amy Klobuchar was second with 24 votes, and Pete Buttigieg third with 22. Other votes were: Elizabeth Warren, 18; Bernie Sanders, 14: Joe Biden, 12.
The straw vote was taken at MVDDC’s annual Mardi Gras themed fundraiser attended by 170 people including many local Democratic officials. Anyone who bought a ticket and was present could vote. The poll is usually seen as an early test of the strength of campaigns’ ability to get out their supporters. The Bloomberg campaign bought a $5,000 sponsorship which included a number of tickets and staffed a table at the event. He spoke the night before at a Democratic event in Richmond to a sold-out crowd of 1,600.
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. Rep Don Beyer spoke on behalf of Buttigieg, whom he had endorsed last year, and former Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd spoke on behalf of former vice President Joe Biden.
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 Stork, 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.
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See a video of the candidate presentations here: https://bluevirginia.us/2020/02/video-mt-vernon-dems-mardi-gras-2020-presidential-straw-poll-results-bloomberg-1-klobuchar-2-buttigieg-3