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Most high profile Democrats in the District have stuck with party nominee Muriel Bowser so far, but now rival David Catania is getting some help from a prominent out-of-town Democrat. Today, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin urged District residents to vote for Catania in a press release from the mayoral hopeful’s campaign.

“David is a leader on the issues that we Democrats care most deeply about,” Shumlin says in the statement.

Shumlin is backing Catania because of his work on prescription drug legislation like the SafeRx Act, which regulated pharmaceutical sales reps, according to Catania campaign manager Ben Young. In 2009, Shumlin and Catania coordinated gay marriage legislation in Vermont and the District.

Shumlin’s defection from his party’s nominee may not sway District voters not up on their Vermont officials, but Shumlin’s endorsement is made somewhat more surprising because he chairs the Democratic Governors Association. In July, Councilmember and D.C. Democratic State Committee boss Anita Bonds pitched DGA officials on helping Bowser beat Catania.

“I think it says if you care about the Democratic label, if that’s all you care about, then that’s one thing,” Young says. “But if you care about Democratic issues and Democratic values, then David Catania’s clearly your candidate”

Update, 2:10 p.m.: By way of comment, Bowser spokesman Joaquin McPeek points LL to an April press release where Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz says Democrats are “uniting behind Muriel.” Apparently not all Democrats!

Photo by Darrow Montgomery