Former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, a man whose 30-year political career has been marred by one scandal after another, is the most-popular elected official in the capital city’s government, according to a recent poll.
Now a member of city council, Barry, 76, has been convicted of cocaine possession and served six months in federal prison. He was also found guilty of a misdemeanor for failure to pay his taxes, although marijuana-possession and stalking charges were dropped.
But his approval rating is 52 percent, higher than Mayor Vincent Gray’s and all his fellow council members, according to a Washington Post poll released this week.
Barry’s relative popularity might not be saying much, considering his competition. More than half of the district’s residents think Gray should resign as mayor amid questions about how he financed his 2010 mayoral campaign. Nearly two-thirds said in the Post’s poll that their mayor is not trustworthy.
And with two city council members resigning in light of felony charges this year, the public’s confidence in its ruling council is dismally low. The Post poll shows that 74 percent of respondents think council members Kwame Brown and Harry Thomas’ resignations are signs of broader problems in city government.
As a federal official, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, a non-voting member of the U.S. House representing Washington, D.C., escaped the dark cloud l hanging over the city’s government with a 72 percent approval rating.