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Busboys and Poets owner Andy Shallal only has one day left as the District’s sole restaurateur-turned-political candidate. Khalid Pitts, who owns Logan Circle’s Cork Wine Bar and Cork Market and Tasting Room with his wife, tells LL that he’ll file papers tomorrow to run as an independent in November’s at-large election.

Pitts, 46, works as the treasurer for the District’s Health Benefit Exchange Authority and formerly as a campaign director for the Service Employees International Union. With the eventual Democratic nominee expected to win one of the two at-large seats available in the general election, he’ll be competing with an increasingly busy field for the set-aside non-majority-party seat David Catania is leaving to run for mayor.

Pitts said he’d been mulling a run for six months, with the final decision coming with his wife more recently. “About three weeks ago we had our talk over a glass of wine—or should I say a bottle of wine,” Pitts says.

Following the long-honored tradition of District Democrats switching their party registration to pursue the set-aside, Pitts filed papers today to change his party registration to “independent.”

Pitts tells LL that he’d focus on—-what else?—-education and housing on the Council. Pitts and his businesses gave a combined $1,000 to Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham‘s 2010 re-election.

Like Shallal, Pitts says he’ll be contributing some of his campaign funds himself. “You got to be in it to win it,” Pitts says.

Photo courtesy Khalid Pitts