Elissa Silverman Credit: Photograph by Darrow Montgomery

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The ever-fluctuating field of candidates seeking to win David Catania‘s at-large D.C. Council seat got a little clearer today, with Elissa Silverman declaring for the race and outgoing Councilmember Tommy Wells announcing that he won’t run.

Silverman’s entry into the race has been expected since she left her job at the lefty-wonk D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute last month. Still, Silverman, a former Washington City Paper reporter who came in second to Anita Bonds in April 2013’s at-large special election, tells LL that she only decided for good that she would run recently.

Silverman has already switched her party registration from Democratic to independent, a necessary move for candidates hoping to take a seat reserved for non-majority party candidates. In November, she’ll be facing several candidates, including ex-Eleanor Holmes Norton staffer Robert White, Logan Circle wine bar owner Khalid Pitts, Statehood Green candidate Eugene Puryear, and anti-Walmart activist Graylan Hagler. But Silverman won’t have to face one local pol: Wells. After he chose an ultimately failed mayoral bid over running for re-election in Ward 6 in the mayoral primary, Wells considered staying on the Council with an at-large bid. In a statement to Greater Greater Washington today, though, Wells says he won’t run.

Not that he couldn’t win! Wells’ statement—-titled “The Ability to Win Isn’t The Best Reason to Run”—-makes clear that he thinks he’d win handily.

“I just came off a citywide race and likely could easily overwhelm a crowded field of lesser-known candidates,” says Wells.

Silverman, who stands to benefit from Wells’ absence from the race, says Wells told her last month that he planned to make his decision in 45 days. “I think those 45 days are up,” she says.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

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