Leon Andrews has a tough run ahead of him against Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon Todd in June’s Democratic primary. But Andrews’ path to the D.C. Council could get a lot easier if fellow challenger Ron Austin isn’t on the ballot.

Now one of Andrews’ supporters is trying to clear the field. In a ballot challenge filed ahead of yesterday’s deadline to dispute nominating signatures, Andrews’ backer Sean Metcalf challenged whether Austin has enough legitimate petitions to make it on the ballot.

Ousting Austin could help unite voters opposed to Todd around Andrews, who has loaned his campaign a whopping $140,000. In last year’s primary to replace Muriel Bowser in the seat, Andrews came in third. Austin finished in fifth, albeit with roughly one-tenth of Andrews’ vote haul.

Notably, this year far fewer Democratic challengers have declared to run against Todd (and help split the vote against the Bowser Green Team favorite). No other petition challenges were filed in the local Democratic races.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery