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Behind in polls and fundraising, independent David Catania is going after the most important demographic for his mayoral hopes: Democrats. Catania rallied with self-described “lifelong Democrats” this morning in front of Judiciary Square, the first open early-voting location.

“Being a Democratic does not mean surrendering your right to think,” Catania supporter Andy Litsky, aWard 6 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner, said.

Catania’s campaign has also launched “Democrats for David Catania,” a video featuring exactly that as they describe why the 76 percent of District voters registered as Democrats should back Catania.

“It’s totally OK for a Democrat to support David Catania,” education activist Alice Speck says in the video. “His values are the same as ours; his voting record is the same as ours.”

At his rally, Catania denied being “outgunned” by Bowser’s more elaborate fundraising and organizing apparatus. He declared that uncredited anti-Catania signs tied to ex-prisoner groups amount to “shadow campaign, the sequel.” (Muriel Bowser spokesman Joaquin McPeek says the Democratic nominee’s campaign isn’t involved in the anti-Catania attacks).

“This city isn’t for sale, and this election isn’t for sale,” Catania said.

Catania also took up the Washington Post editorial board’s re-endorsement of Bowser last week, which savaged Catania along the way. Catania’s response inadvertently hinted at why Democrats might not find it so easy to vote for the former Republican.

“[Editorial page editor] Fred Hiatt and the editorial board took us into Iraq, buying hook, line, and sinker everything, everything the [George W.] Bush administration told them,” Catania said.

Of course, that’s the same Bush for whom Catania once raised $50,000.

Photo by Will Sommer