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John L. Ray

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Title: John L. Ray  
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Subject: Abe Fortas, Marion Barry, Sharon Pratt Kelly, Washington, D.C. mayoral election, 1994, Cheney Cardiovascular Institute, Electoral history of Marion Barry
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John L. Ray

John L. Ray (born May 16, 1943[1]) is a lawyer and Democratic politician in Washington, D.C. He was an at-large member of the Council of the District of Columbia from 1979 to 1997.[2] Ray is a partner and member of the board of directors at the law firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips.[3]

Political career

On January 8, 1979, Ray was appointed by the District of Columbia Democratic State Committee to the at-large council seat vacated by Marion Barry, who had been sworn in as mayor a few days earlier.[4] He was Barry's chosen successor. Ray went on to win the May 1 special election handily[5] and then to be reelected in 1980, 1984, 1988, and 1992.[2]

When council chairman John A. Wilson killed himself in May 1993, the council chose Ray to be acting chairman.[6] Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly had backed another at-large council member, Linda Cropp, for the appointment and thought she had lined up the votes on the council, but Charlene Drew Jarvis switched her vote to Ray[7] because she intended to run for chairman in the special election and viewed Cropp as a threat.[6] Ray served as acting chairman until the special election on September 14, which was won by former chairman David A. Clarke.[8] Ray finished his term as at-large member but did not run for reelection in 1996.[2]


Preceded by
Marion Barry
At-Large Member, Council of the District of Columbia
Succeeded by
Harold Brazil
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