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With Muriel Bowser‘s independent opponents turning in their signatures last week to make November’s mayoral ballot, Bowser said at an endorsement press conference today that she looks forward to facing her opponents at mayoral debates. Make that all of her opponents.

“It’s my expectation that everybody who qualifies for the ballot should be invited,” Bowser said.

While LL doubts that many forum organizers will manage to keep away Bowser rivals David Catania or Carol Schwartz, based on both their terms on the D.C. Council and the fact that Bowser needs at least one person to debate, the Ward 4 councilmember’s request that other candidates be invited to events is more surprising.

Barring petition challenges that could knock him off the ballot, Bowser’s request would appear to extend to little-known candidate Nestor Djonkam. Bowser’s support would also be a boon for longshot Libertarian Party candidate Bruce Majors, who struggled to get invited to Democratic primary debates earlier this year, and Statehood Green Party candidate Faith, whose frequent candidacies have featured lots of trumpet-playing but little electoral success.

LL doesn’t remember Bowser having these compunctions when District TV station WUSA9 excluded primary rivals Councilmember Vincent Orange and Andy Shallal from a televised debate. Still, Bowser campaign manager Bo Shuff didn’t do much to shake LL’s impression that Bowser wants to face Djonkam, Majors, and Faith along with Catania and Schwartz.

“I think she was pretty clear,” Shuff says.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery