Christopher Barry speaks at Marion Barry's memorial
Christopher Barry speaks at Marion Barry's memorial

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The number of candidates competing in the Ward 8 special election can only be rivaled by the number of candidates who have ditched the race. Two more candidates for the Council seat plan to bail out this week, each with differing degrees of devotion to prodigal ward son Christopher Barry.

First out: Dennis Harvey, godson of late Mayor-for-Life Marion Barry. Harvey jumped into the race in December. Now, though, just as ex-Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. urged Barry mourners to support his only “living seed,” Harvey says he’ll leave to support Barry’s son Christopher.

“It’s something I decided to do to be in full support of Chris, to help push forward Marion’s legacy,” Harvey says. Barry didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Less enthused about Barry is community activist Ron Williams, who entered the race last year after being active in former Councilmember Tommy Wells‘ failed mayoral bid. Rather than bow out in favor of Barry, Williams says he’s biding his time to take the seat when it’s available again in 2016. For now, though, the race is too crowded for his taste.

“We’re not going to back down from the Ward 8 seat just because Chris Barry got in,” Williams says.

Harvey and Williams are the third and fourth candidates to drop out of the race. Only 21 candidates remain.

Photo by Will Sommer