With less than three months to go before the Democratic mayoral primary, it’s time to rank the hopefuls. This isn’t a measure of who’s most likely to win, since charting Vince Gray‘s march to re-election wouldn’t be fun. Instead, it’s a judge of who’s got the best signs and who puts in the zings at the latest debate. Check Loose Lips every Friday until April Fool’s Day for the latest Mayoral Power Rankings.

1. Mayor Vince Gray

What: Gray officially launched his campaign last week and apologized for his 2010 effort—-and then got some good news in the form of top standing in a Washington Post poll (even with only 24 percent).

Why: He’s the mayor.

Power Rankings Momentum: U.S. Attorney-dependent.


2. Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser

What: Bowser spent last week complaining that Gray was nowhere to be found.

Why: Bowser should be facing off with Gray. Instead, she’s stuck at the kids’ table.

Power Rankings Momentum: Stalled.

3. Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells

What: Wells worked on his Wobbly bonafides last week, insisting that the District’s land swap for a D.C. United stadium should include affordable housing.

Why: Wells has failed to land a blow on Gray’s ethics, mainly because the mayor is trying to not even share as much as a ZIP code with his challengers—-which makes it tough to confront him.

Power Rankings Momentum: Falling.

4. Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans

What: Signs! Events! The Evans bank account marches on.

Why: Other candidates have finally joined the lamppost sign game, but Evans’ remain the highest and the most ubiquitous.

Power Rankings Momentum: Rising.

5. Busboys & Poets owner Andy Shallal

What: The rabble-rousing restarauteur teamed up with actor Danny Glover last weekend for a buddy cop movie/townhall. Bonus: He was also endorsed by gritty area novelist George Pelecanos!

Why: Shallal has Vincent Orange‘s populism without the ethical lapses, but he’s still treasted like an also-ran.

Power Rankings Momentum: Rising.

6. At-Large Councilmember Vincent Orange

What: Orange endleded last week by saying he would interfere in the health inspection of a food business to save jobs. Which is exactly what earned him a slap on the knuckles from the board of ethics—-and exactly what he promised not to do again afterward.

Why: Watching Orange campaign is like watching someone play an elaborate game of alien chess. Obviously, he’s got a plan, but the moves don’t make any sense.

Power Rankings Momentum: Rising.

7. Reta Lewis

What: Ex-Clintonite Lewis remains an anthropomorphized Schoolhouse Rock episode.

Why: Which means she’s long on civics and short on positions.

Power Rankings: Well, the thing about Reta Lewis is we have to come together as a community and work for solutions

Honorable Mentions

Longest of longshots Christian Carter, for crashing the Northwest Current debate and nearly giving the moderator an aneurysm. And WUSA9’s Bruce Johnson, who isn’t running for mayor but whose soft style landed him Gray’s pre-kickoff Oprah-esque apology interview.

Graphics by Carey Jordan, photos by Darrow Montgomery