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Jim Graham lost his re-election bid last year, but a promise to the late Marion Barry is keeping him in District politics. The former Ward 1 councilmember tells LL that he’s helping Marion C. Barry in the Ward 8 special election for his father’s seat.

Before Barry died last year, Graham says the mayor-for-life asked him to help his son compete for the Council position. Graham tells LL that he’s been offering campaign advice to the younger Barry (who went by Christopher Barry until his father died). In Post story on Barry’s run, Graham says the only person who can beat Barry in the race is Barry himself.

“For me, Christopher Barry is not about who he has been, but about who he will become,” Graham says. “He has great stock. He’s [mother] Effi [Barry]’s son and he’s Marion’s son, and there’s a great potential there.”

Whatever potential Barry has hasn’t been much in evidence so far during the campaign. After allegedly breaking a bank security camera during an outburst in Chinatown, Barry lost his campaign manager and filed an unimpressive campaign finance report.

“He has a demon,” Graham says. “We all have demons.”

Ward 1 pols have been surprisingly active in the April 28 special election taking place on the other side of town. Councilmember Brianne Nadeau, who ousted Graham from his seat last April, is backing Muriel Bowser favorite LaRuby May.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery