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For Democratic office-seekers, switching their party registrations to run for the at-large D.C. Council seats reserved for minority parties is a time-honored, if not exactly honorable, tradition in the District. But potential 2014 candidate Eric J. Jones may have taken the ol’ switcheroo to the next level, launching an exploratory committee last week before he’s even changed his party registration.

Jones, who was still a registered Democrat as of yesterday, says current set-aside seatholder David Catania‘s own exploratory committee to run for mayor made him look more closely at running. If Catania runs, he won’t be able to hold on to his at-large seat—-a fact that also hasn’t been lost on fellow independent-in-name-only candidate Robert White and an unusually bustling field of Statehood Green Party candidates.

Jones, a 33-year-old Ward 5 resident and former D.C. Young Democrats official who now works for a building industry trade group, tells LL he’d bring a younger voice on issues like youth homelessness to the Council. Jones won’t say his whether or not he runs hinges on whether Catania launches his own campaign, although he concedes that it would make his decision much easier.

Photo courtesy Eric J. Jones