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The Board of Elections started accepting nominating signatures to get on  primary ballots today, inspiring three candidates for mayor to turn in what amounts to a combined 13,000 signatures.

Vincent Orange turned in what he says are 3,000 signatures, while Busboys & Poets owner Andy Shallal turned in 2,000. Muriel Bowser handed over 8,000 signatures, meaning she could afford to have 75 percent of her signatures disqualified and still make the primary ballot.

With petitions not due until Jan. 2, turning signatures in early mostly just gets the candidates publicity. That’s especially useful ahead of tomorrow’s Office of Campaign Finance reporting deadline and the marathon fundraising day preceding it.

There’s a good chance many of the signatures filed today will turn out to be defective, though. Actually stopping at turning in exactly 2,000 signatures, the minimum required to make the ballot, would almost certainly keep Shallal off the ballot, for example. All three campaigns say they’ll continue collecting signatures.

Vince Gray‘s campaign manager Chuck Thies declined to give the number of signatures collected by the mayor’s campaign, instead touting what he says is the relatively new campaign’s 200 volunteers, while Tommy Wells and Reta Lewis‘ campaigns didn’t respond to requests for comment about signatures.

A spokesman for Jack Evans tells LL that they don’t see an advantage in putting out their signature numbers now, which LL admits is hard to argue with.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery