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Whoever wins April 1’s Democratic mayoral primary will face a challenger in the general. At-Large Councilmember David Catania will file papers to run for mayor.

Catania, who’s been mulling a run with an exploratory committee, will make his candidacy official sometime this week, Catania exploratory committee Ben Young tells LL tonight. Young declined to reveal exactly what day Catania would pick up his candidacy papers.

In June, LL figured that the only way that Catania, a white, gay, ex-Republican, could become mayor would be for Vince Gray to run for re-election and be tarnished close to the primary by the federal investigation. As it turns out, that’s exactly what’s happening. Young wouldn’t say whether today’s guilty plea from Gray shadow campaign backer Jeff Thompson had something to do with the timing of the announcement, but LL imagines that’s just the Catania camp’s version of politeness.

Catania’s bid will also likely increase the competition among the slate of non-Democratic candidates trying to take his seat. Since Catania holds one of the two at-large seats that are reserved for members of the non-majority party, his spot on the Council, which is up in this year’s election, offers a tasty chance for candidates, including party-hopping Democrats, to grab a seat while avoiding a primary.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery