Thomas Warren, wtop.com
WASHINTON - The 2014 D.C. mayor's race is officially on.
Saturday afternoon, Ward 4 Councilwoman Muriel Bowser formally announced her candidacy. She is the first to the enter what could become a crowded field for the city's top job.
Standing in the front yard of her parent's North Michigan Park home in Northeast, Bowser said residents have told her the city needs a change of leadership.
"Corruption has robbed us of our focus, our momentum, our need to think big, and act swiftly," she said.
Bowser, 40, has been a vocal critic of current Mayor Vincent Gray and the campaign he ran in 2010. She was one of three city council members who called for Gray to step down last year after his campaign consultant Jeannie Clarke Harris pleaded guilty to orchestrating a shadow campaign that funded more than $650,000 for the mayor's election.
Bowser wouldn't comment if her remark about "corruption" was directed specifically at Gray. What she would say is residents have voiced to her that "they think that many in government have been distracted by this investigation."
For her own campaign, Bowser says she'll accept corporate contributions but she won't take money orders or cash.
"We're going to follow all the rules to the letter," she says.
With her parents sitting to her right, Bowser also unveiled her campaign strategy.
"It'll be a campaign in every ward, on every block, and for every vote," she says.
Bowser, who has served on the city council since 2007, says she made up her mind to run on President's Day. She says her experience makes her a viable candidate.
"I spent ten years in local government learning the best practices from around the region," she says.