LL reported last month that former at-large candidate Robert White was considering another run. Yesterday, White got a little closer to running—but not by declaring as a candidate.

Instead of registering a campaign, White launched an exploratory committee. The odd thing here, though, is that White seems like he’s already made up his mind about running. In an email to potential supporters, the White pseudo-campaign makes promises about what will happen when Robert is “on the Council” and urges potential supporters to “join #TeamRobertWhite.”

In reality, what White looks to be exploring is the possibility of collecting more paychecks from his job in Karl Racine‘s Office of the Attorney General.

If White registered as a candidate, he would have to resign from his position as Racine’s community outreach director to avoid violating Hatch Act prohibitions on government employees campaigning. As long as he has an exploratory committee, according to OAG spokesman Robert Marus, White is in the clear.

Exploratory committee weirdness aside, White is set to enter the Democratic primary race against incumbent Vincent Orange, challenger David Garber, and restaurateur Andy Shallall (maybe). After a third place finish at-large finish last year (that probably should been second place) and admiration from the Post ed board, White has something to campaign on.

White is also the first Racine employee—but probably not the last!—to flirt with a 2016 campaign. Also on Racine’s staff are former attorney general candidate Lateefah Williams and second-place Ward 8 candidate Trayon White, the latter of whom is expected to challenge Muriel Bowser favorite LaRuby May for the seat next year.

If he decides to run, White could help decide whether Racine can actually manage to build a bloc on the Council. And White isn’t leaving his ties to Racine at the office. White’s spokeswoman referred questions about the exploratory committee to political operative Sean Rankin, whose Apollo Group handled Racine’s 2014 attorney general run.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

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