Christopher Barry rides in the Martin Luther King Jr. parade

LL hoped that Monday’s Martin Luther King Day parade in Ward 8 would provide hints about the direction of the 25-candidate field. So much for that.

Vince Gray favorite Sheila Bunn, ex-Muriel Bowser campaign staffer LaRuby May, perennial candidate Sandra Seegars, Ward 8 Democrats president Natalie Williams, and former State Board of Education member Trayon White all marched with large enough crews to suggest they have the organization needed to collect the required 500 signatures by Jan. 28 and run competitively after that.

Ditto Eugene Kinlow, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Anthony Muhammad, and former shadow representative Nate Bennett-Fleming. Lesser-known candidate Stuart Anderson had a smaller entourage, but his supporters promise an anti-establishment campaign with a focus on the police, so watch this space for something different.

The real drama of the parade came from—-who else?—-Christopher Barry, who brought up the rear of the parade riding a horse and wearing a cowboy hat. Barry and his seven-horse retinue drew so many onlookers that parade organizers had to tell his equestrian admirers to get out of the street.

If it weren’t for the younger Barry on a horse, you’d be forgiven for thinking there was another Marion Barry running for the seat. The late mayor’s son has borrowed his father’s green campaign colors, has “Marion C. Barry” instead of “Christopher Barry” on his signs, and has chosen “The legacy continues” for his campaign slogan. Barry’s supporters chanted “Ward 8/Marion Barry!” Even his horse recalled his father’s request that horses be involved in his funeral.

Riding a horse in the parade had another benefit, too. After LL asked Barry about his alleged destructive outburst last week at a Chinatown bank, a staffer begged off for him. Barry, she said, had to focus on his riding.

Photo by Will Sommer