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Everybody’s talking about the Post endorsement, but who will the power rankings’ floating heads endorse? Read on.

1. Muriel Bowser

What: Bowser comes to this week’s power rankings newly stamped with the Washington Post‘s seal of approval. Possibly even better for Bowser, the Post actually gave her an enthusiastic endorsement, rather than—-as LL wrongly expected them to—-merely saying Bowser was only the candidate with the best chance of beating Gray.

Why: The endorsement might not win Bowser many more votes, but that was never the point. Bowser plays the Post endorsement like that Jeopardy! guy played Daily Doubles—-even if it doesn’t mean a lot to her own campaign, she denied Tommy Wells and Jack Evans the kind of race-upsetting event that could make one of them the leading Gray challenger.

Power Rankings Momentum: Rising.

2. Vince Gray

What: Of course, LL’s only talking about who’s going to take on Gray because the mayor’s remained surprisingly untouchable, save for scraps over his homeless policy. Gray scored more union endorsements.

Why: Also working in Gray’s favor: relative quiet from U.S. Attorney Ron Machen. Asked about the shadow campaign yesterday at an unrelated press conference, Machen would only say he’s working hard on it.

Power Rankings Momentum: Stalled.

3. Jack Evans

What: Evans looks to have come in second place for the Post‘s endorsement, with the ed board dismissing him for not having a “robust vision.”

Why: Bowser’s endorsement win denied Evans his best chance to pick up energy with a little more than a month left before the primary.

Friendship Update: What a week for the Gray-Evans bromance. First they traveled to New York together to pitch bond ratings agencies on the city’s solvency, then Carlos Allen told them to stop whispering to each other at last night’s debate. Has the District ruled out taking a cue from the Romans and having co-mayors?

Power Rankings Momentum: Rising.

4. Tommy Wells

What: After spending last week trying to alchemize his stringent ethical positions into votes, Wells was handed another easy crowd at the architecture debate…

Why: …and promptly blew it by advocating for the musty Height Act and against smart-growth folk hero/outgoing Office of Planning director Harriet Tregoning. Gray, who’s stuck supporting Tregoning whether he wants to or not, somehow managed to outflank Wells on planning issues at Thursday’s debate.

Wells also earned a jab from the Post ed board over his “livable, walkable” slogan, which, yikes, did he cancel his subscription or something?

Power Rankings Momentum: Falling.

6. Vincent Orange

What: LL’s as delighted as anyone that Orange chose a campaign song, but it might be better for his chances if he spent that time having a more visible campaign. Twice this week LL heard complaints from civic types who had trouble even contacting Orange’s apparatus, such as it is.

Why: Next week, Orange will have more time to talk about his sweeping RFK Stadium plans when a D.C. Council committee takes them up.

Power Rankings Momentum: Rising.

6. Andy Shallal

What: Shallal’s education white paper didn’t just make his critique of Gray more concrete, it earned him some media attention.

Why: The Post ed board reserved a special shank for Shallal, writing that his “main focus seems to be to decry the economic forces that have contributed to his business’s success.”

Power Rankings Momentum: Rising.

7. Reta Lewis

What: Lewis seems a lock for the campaign’s “Most Improved” award. She was the first person to woo the Baptist ministers Monday with parking, an idea the other candidates though was so good that they copied it.

Why: Still, LL worries that Lewis is headed for embarrassing election returns vis-a-vis fringe candidate Allen. When does the Hillary Clinton transition team start recruiting? 

Power Rankings Momentum: Falling.

Honorable Mentions: Shadow Senate candidate/rich guy Pete Ross, who claims he’s going to unleash 10,000 campaign signs on the city next week. Write-in candidate Michael J. Green, who somehow convinced the organizers of the architecture debate, of all people, to let him talk. The D.C. United Stadium, about to have its moment in the campaign spotlight.

Photos by Darrow Montgomery