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The special elections in Wards 4 and 8 will be over in a week, but it’s already somehow time for another race. In Ward 7, D.C. Democratic State Committee bigwig Ed Potillo is gearing up for a potential 2016 run against incumbent Yvette Alexander.

Potillo, the DCDSC’s vice chairman, registered his exploratory committee last year but has kicked up his campaigning this month. Potillo isn’t sure how much his connections will help convince party stalwarts to choose him over Alexander.

“They may want to hold back a little bit because she is an incumbent,” Potillo says.

Potillo, who says Alexander has been missing economics opportunities for the ward, is starting early. The National Alliance of Black School Educators staffer says he’s following Robert White, the 2014 at-large candidate who lost in November but managed to stand out from the field thanks to an early launch. Starting early also worked for Ward 1 councilmember Brianne Nadeau, who launched her campaign to unseat Jim Graham nearly two years before the primary.

“She’s been in office and she wants to stay in office,” Potillo says of Alexander.

Photo courtesy Ed Potillo