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Bowser Calls Crack-Smoking, Hooker-Chasing Mayor A ‘Fighter’ For DC

(Credit: Street Sense | Photo by Matailong Du/Flickr, no changes made)

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Steve Birr Vice Reporter

District Mayor Muriel Bowser praised the disgraced former mayor of Washington, D.C., Marion Barry as a “fighter” Wednesday, the two year anniversary of his death.

Barry served four terms as mayor of D.C. and an additional 15 years in the city council, despite his many high-profile transgressions. The notorious “Mayor for Life” served his first three terms before he was arrested and sentenced to prison in 1990 for an infamous scandal revealing him smoking crack with a woman working undercover for police as a prostitute.

After the scandal, voters elected Barry anyway to a fourth term as mayor.

Barry returned to politics to retake his old Council seat in 2004. A year later, he pleaded guilty to tax dodging after the IRS found he had not paid taxes for five years despite raking in more than $500,000.

“He was a fighter for those who needed a fighter,” Bowser said in a tweet Wednesday.

Barry infamously ditched the District as mayor during a blizzard in 1987 for Super Bowl XXI in Southern California. He even stayed there after the game to relax and play tennis while D.C. floundered in 26 inches of snow and the federal government came to a halt. Barry returned only after being hospitalized following a night of heavy drinking.

He tested positive for cocaine and marijuana during his first term back in the D.C. Council during a court-ordered drug test related to the 2005 tax charges. Barry also suffered fierce criticisms from the Asian American community in the District due to a history of racist remarks against Asian Americans operating businesses in his ward.

“We’ve got to do something about these Asians coming in, opening up businesses, those dirty shops,” Barry told supporters at a victory party in 2012. “They ought to go, I’ll just say that right now, you know.”

Barry served in the Council as the the representative for Ward 8 until his death from cardiac arrest in 2014. Barry’s son Marion Christopher Barry also suffered from drug addictions and died from an overdose in August.

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