D.C. Primary 2012: Marion Barry easily wins

Barry easily held off four Democratic challengers in his D.C. Council primary elecion.

(AP. ABC7) - D.C. Councilmember Marion Barry, a former four-term mayor, easily held off four Democratic challengers for his Ward 8 Council seat.

Barry, 76, has only lost one election in his career - in 1990, after he had been sentenced to six months in federal prison on a drug charge.

In the Democratic primary for an at-large Council seat, Councilmember Vincent Orange held a slim lead over former interim councilmember Sekou Biddle.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Orange led by 523 votes, or 1 percentage point.

Nearly 3,800 absentee ballots remained to be counted. Elections officials will tally them on April 13, 10 days after the primary.

Orange defeated Biddle last year in a special election, and Orange recently acknowledged receiving suspicious money-order donations during that campaign. The contributions have been linked to businessman Jeffrey Thompson, whose home and office were searched by federal authorities as part of a broad investigation into campaign finance in the district.

Councilmember Muriel Bowser, D-Ward 4, and Councilmember Yvette Alexander, D-Ward 7, won their primaries over multiple opponents.

Democrat Jack Evans of Ward 2 ran unopposed.

Democratic turnout was 15.5 percent, which is similar to previous primaries for Council races. This year, the Council primary and presidential primary were held on the same day for the first time.