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D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty fell to challenger Vincent Gray in a grueling Democratic primary that left candidates and voters waiting until 1:30 a.m. Wednesday before definitive unofficial results were announced.

If Mr. Gray’s lead holds and Mr. Gray wins in November, it will mark the first time in the city’s history that a council chairman becomes mayor.

With 128 of 143 precincts counted, Mr. Gray had 53 percent of the votes compared to Mr. Fenty’s 46 percent.

Mr. Fenty did not concede defeat when he appeared about 1:15 a.m. at a rally at his campaign headquarters, where scores of well-wishers, including his parents, waited for returns.

Mr. Fenty campaigned hard on a record of school reform. He received an endorsement from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and sought but failed to get one from President Obama.

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