ASHRAF KHALIL 

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Mayor Muriel Bowser cruised to re-election in the nation's capital four years ago without serious opposition.

And as the city enjoyed prosperous times, the main criticism of her policies was that Washington was growing too quickly, driving up housing costs and pricing out Black residents in a gentrification wave.

One tumultuous term later, and with homicide and violent crime rates spiraling, Bowser finds herself in a re-election fight.

She's trying to fend off two challengers from the District of Columbia Council who accuse her of mishandling public safety issues and criticize her push to hire more police officers.

The campaign reflects a wider dynamic playing out in longtime Democratic strongholds, with progressives facing off against party traditionalists over crime.