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What season comes after summer? Mayoral Power Rankingsof course. 

Again, the Rankings are not about who is most likely to win, but who has momentum. Check back every Friday until Election Day to see the three lead candidates rise and fall, with occasional bonus attorney general and D.C. Council at-large race Power Rankings.

1. Muriel Bowser

What: Bowser landed an endorsement from the firefighters’ union and reached out to wards 7 and 8, with varying degrees of success.

Why: Bowser’s supposed rationale for her newfound opposition to a busy forum schedule won’t fool anyone, but it’s hard not to look like the leading candidate when she can afford to pick and choose her debates.

Power Rankings Momentum: Tenuous.

2. David Catania

What: That darn poll! LL thought that the Catania campaign memo describing the poll that puts him within the margin of error would clear some things up, but if anything, it’s made things more confusing. For example: Why, in this mystery poll, has Catania grown only a few percentage points from where he was in a March Post poll?

Why: This week’s Post article on Catania’s management of the Council’s health committee doubles, as every article about Catania does, as a comment on his temper.

An appearance by Adrian Fenty attorney general Peter Nickles, though, offers a look at a conundrum for former Fenty acolytes now supporting Bowser. They want to say Catania’s temper is a weakness for a potential mayor, but they also once backed Fenty, whose behavior once merited an entire cover story about whether he’s a jerk.

Power Rankings Momentum: Rising.

3. Carol Schwartz

What: Schwartz comes off surprisingly well in the mystery poll, nabbing 14 percent in a survey that likely didn’t do her any favors in its question phrasing.

Why: On the other hand, Schwartz’s Tuesday kickoff amounted to a low-attendance reunion for, to borrow a phrase from an earlier Schwartz campaign, the city’s “oldies but goodies.” Schwartz blamed the poor turnout in part on its lunchtime scheduling. If only she had control over when her kickoff was!

Power Rankings Momentum: Surprisingly strong.

Honorable Mentions: NBC4’s Tom Sherwood, who’s set to moderate three of the four Bowser-sanctioned mayoral debates. Little-known mayoral candidate Nestor Djonkam, who achieved every fringe candidate’s dream today: being first on the ballot.

Did LL get it wrong? Send your alternate power rankings to lips@washingtoncitypaper.com.

Photos by Darrow Montgomery