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Scenario 1

Mayor does not run

Wife wins family argument. Mayor Anthony A. Williams takes curator job at National League of Cities.

Ward 4 Councilmember Adrian Fenty runs for mayor.

Cropp gobbles up some of his Ward 4 base. Fenty stops shaving head, goes gray to appear older and more experienced.

Ward 2

Councilmember Jack Evans runs for mayor.

With mayor out, Evans controls big-developer money tap. He’ll need something more: Those dollars got him 10 percent of the vote in 1998.

At least six advisory neighborhood commissioners—William Boston, Kathy Henderson, Regina James, Cleopatra Jones, Robert King, and Frank Wilds.

Flower-shop owner Rick Lee

Anthony Hood, activist

Harry Thomas Jr. Daddy’s name, baseball links give him cred. Lost to Orange in 2004.

Ward 5 Councilmember Vincent B. Orange runs for mayor or chair.

Must be counting on some imaginary citywide appeal. Vinnie B.’s quixotic quest has already triggered wild scramble for his seat.

D.C. Council Chairman Linda Cropp runs for mayor.

Ward 3 Councilmember Kathy Patterson launches chairman bid.

Uses education-committee chair to boost citywide profile. Remember how much that helped Kevin Chavous?

Eric Gaull, crushed by Patterson in 2002 but may try again.

Nancy Macwood, advisory neighborhood commissioner.

Unknown—just like Patterson in 1993.

Laura Slover, former school-board candidate.

Sam Brooks, young, white, smart. Just the thing for Ward 3.

At-Large Councilmember

David Catania mounts independent run for chair.

Once claimed he would quit after two terms. Don’t count on it. He’s having too much fun as the pharmaceutical industry’s most hated public official.

Can’t rule out Patterson at-large bid. Dreams of leaving annoying ward duties behind.

A. Scott Bolden. Ousted chair of Democratic State Committee looking for race he can win—any race.

Catania run clears way for long-delayed Graham at-large candidacy.

Graham finally gets to use that pricey polling data from aborted 2004 run against Harold Brazil.

Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham runs for chair.

New job would allow him to escape Metro-board post.

At-Large Councilmember Kwame Brown runs for council chair.

Satisfies Clinton-like compulsion to always be in campaign mode.

Happily staying put no matter what happens:

Phil Mendelson

At-Large Councilmember

Happy in role as the council’s leading policy wonk. Lacks star quality to move up, knows it, and doesn’t care. May face Orange, Graham, maybe even Evans in 2006. Always vulnerable but also charmed.

Vincent Gray

Ward 7 Councilmember

Too busy working 24/7 for his ward to consider move. No interest in following in Chavous’ overly ambitious footsteps, which too often led him out of the ward—and finally led him out of office. Gray is quickly capturing the crown of council’s No. 1 workaholic. LL recommends vacation.

Marion S. Barry

Ward 8 Councilmember

King of Ward 8 will continue his low-key rule as east-of-the-river legend. Lingering questions about Barry’s health mean he is no longer citywide threat. Will endure much kowtowing from candidates seeking his endorsement.

Unhappily staying put no matter what happens:

Carol Schwartz

At-Large Councilmember

Four failed mayoral bids. Watching colleagues jockeying for position must be killing her.

Scenario 2

Mayor runs

Stuns critics by collecting required number of valid nominating-petition signatures.

Evans loses most of his funding base. Williams crushes his fading mayoral hopes again.

Cropp doesn’t run.

Does she have the courage to challenge Williams? Political yakkers say no; she’s mum.

Orange somehow becomes even more of a nonfactor.

Decides to run for chair, at-large seat, or Ward 5 seat.

Fenty gets one-on-one primary race with Williams.

Others in mayor’s race fight to be spoiler. Personal attacks carry the day.

Scenario 3

Cropp retires

Pull of remodeled house on Maryland’s Eastern Shore too strong. Leaves chaos in wake. Council colleagues grovel for her endorsement.

(See Scenario 1.)

Scenario 4

Ambrose retires

Ward 6 councilmember is mum on plans. But health problems last year fueled retirement rumors. Lately, council’s scolding schoolmarm has been as feisty as ever.

Keith Perry, got 35 percent of Ward 6 vote in 2002. About to leave Kwame Brown’s staff.

A. Scott Bolden. Yes, Penn Quarter is part of Ward 6.

Southwest Neighborhood Assembly Board member Tom Heinemann

School Board Member Tommy Wells—Ambrose’s handpicked successor

Charles Burger, neighborhood activist, Alcoholic Beverage Control Board chair.