Chuck Thies

Ex-Mayor Vince Gray‘s potential comeback will have some numbers behind it. With Gray a contender in multiple D.C. Council races, his supporters have bankrolled a political action committee aimed at polling this year’s elections.

“Higher Ground PAC”, created last month by Gray 2014 campaign manager Chuck Thies, has raised nearly $8,000. Thies says he plans to spend the money on a poll, then shut it down. Unlike Muriel Bowser-affiliated FreshPAC, Thies has limited individual donations to $500.

“The sole purpose of this PAC is to conduct a city-wide poll, looking into the 2016 council elections and testing the favorability and unfavorability of a handful of local elected officials and potential candidates,” Thies says. 

Thies says the results of the poll will be released publicly. Incidentally, that will help Gray make his decisions, since Thies says the ex-mayor hasn’t been involved in the PAC’s launch.

“As an obvious Gray ally and a long-time fan of Vince’s, it should come as no surprise that some of the information I’m collecting could be shared and help to guide Vince’s decisions,” Thies says.

Higher Ground PAC’s donor lists reads like a sampling of Gray diehards, from former Gray administration Chief of Staff Christopher Murphy ($500) and former D.C. Chamber of Commerce chief Barbara Lang ($500).

PAC chairman Peter Brooks might somehow be even more of a Gray superfan than Thies. In the 2014 election, he distributed handcards with pictures of Gray and Marion Barry with the heading “It’s us against the world.” On the other side, the cards noted that Gray “thinks you are a beautiful person.”

Photo by Darrow Montgomery