Credit: Darrow Montgomery

D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson could be in something of a pickle next year, if Vince Gray follows through on his polls and wins next week’s Ward 7 Council primary.

In the past, Mendelson has refused to assign committee chairmanships to freshmen councilmembers. But will Mendelson’s rule apply when he’s dealing with a Council freshman who’s already been a councilmember (and a Council chairman, and a mayor)?

The Washington TimesDeborah Simmons, for one, is convinced that Mendelson will stick to his rule and leave Gray without a committee. Ward 7 Councilmember (and Gray rival) Yvette Alexander chairs the Council’s Committee on Health and Human Services.

“If Mr. Gray were to beat Miss Alexander, his victory would relabel the Ward 7 seat as ‘rookie’—and rookies get no committee chairmanships,” Simmons writes. 

Wilson Building types have been speculating about any potential committee for Gray in next year’s reshuffling. Adding to the intrigue, Mendelson might break up other committees to give chairmanships to councilmembers who don’t have one. All the new committees, one wag speculates to LL, would lead to an explosion of new legislation from new chairs looking to stake their claims.  

Asked for comment on his plans for Gray, Mendelson relayed a one-word response through spokeswoman Lindsey Walton: “Please.” 

More expansively, according to Walton, Mendelson says he won’t make decisions about committee assignments until December.