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Vince Gray asked District residents last night to believe in his innocence, but the staff of the Northwest Current isn’t buying it. After endorsing Gray’s re-election bid last week, the paper announced today that shadow campaign financier Jeff Thompson‘s guilty plea has inspired them to withdraw it.

As usual, the Current‘s website doesn’t have the editorial yet, but you can read it on Twitter. After conceding Gray’s point that he’s more believable than confessed serial election crook Thompson, the editorial says it’s hard to believe that federal investigators would only take Thompson’s word in the case:

We are now less certain about Mr. Gray’s innocence. And the burden of proof for voters is far less than in a court of law: Our mayor should be above reproach. Accordingly we must retract our endorsement of Vincent Gray for the Democratic mayoral nomination.

The paper will be endorsing another mayoral candidate, according to the editorial.

In retaliation, Gray’s campaign, which spent $4,578.96 on ads in the Current between the start of February and this Monday, has canceled their current ad order with the paper. Gray campaign manager Chuck Thies asked LL to relay a message for Current publisher and editor Davis Kennedy, who didn’t respond to an immediate request for comment.

“Brilliant,” Thies says. “Brilliant. You now believe Jeff Thompson. That’s wonderful. I hope Jeff Thompson starts buying ads in the Current. We have canceled ours.”

The withdrawn endorsement is especially awkward for the Gray campaign a week after Thies praised the Current as a paper “with its finger on the pulse” of the city.

“They had their finger on the pulse of the city,” Thies says. “Now, apparently, they stuck both fingers in their own eyes.”

Photo by Darrow Montgomery