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Mayor Vince Gray picked up petitions to file for re-election from the D.C. Board of Elections today and plans to run for another term.
Gray joins a crowded Democratic primary field that includes four D.C. councilmembers. One of those candidates, Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans, has been reluctant to criticize Gray, presumably under the assumption that the mayor would not run, given the ongoing federal investigation into his 2010 campaign. Another candidate, Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells, has made ethics his central campaign issue, seeking to draw a contrast with Gray. Other candidates include Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser, At-Large Councilmember Vincent Orange, former State Department official Reta Lewis, and restaurateur Andy Shallal.
Gray has already set up a re-election website at vincegray2014.com. District political operative Chuck Thies will manage Gray’s bid. The mayor sent this email to supporters today:
Dear Friend –
We are united in our love of our great city. And we share a deep belief that the District of Columbia has unlimited potential.
I ran for mayor and asked for your support because I knew that by working together, in an inclusive and collaborative way, we could make real progress on our city’s most challenging issues.
And I’m proud of the progress we’ve made. Together, we have:
created jobs, reduced unemployment, and expanded economic development in every ward;
made our city safer;
improved government services; and,
grown the economy, balanced our budgets and dramatically brightened our financial picture.
We are better off today than we were just three years ago.
I am running for reelection to build on the progress and achievements of our first term. We are accomplishing what we set out to do. Step by step, we are moving our city forward. We have built strong foundations. But our work is not done.
Your support is vital. I am not seeking reelection simply to win an election. I am asking you to join me so that we can continue building a city where every resident has the opportunity to succeed. A city with schools that inspire our children to learn and achieve. A city attractive to businesses that create jobs. A city that honors our seniors, who held this town together through many difficult years.
In the coming weeks I will share more with you about our campaign and our plans for the next four years. For now, though, I ask that you do two things:
First, join the campaign.
The Democratic Primary is on April 1, 2014, a mere four months away. This election will be hard fought. Your support will help to ensure that the District of Columbia stays on the right path. Our campaign is collecting signatures to put us on the ballot. For starters, if you see a petitioner, please sign.
Second, enjoy your holidays.
We will formally launch “Gray 2014” next year. This is not the season when people want to hear from politicians. Now is the time for family, friends and celebration.
Thank you for everything you do to give back to our great city.
Correction: This post originally referred to the Board of Elections as the Board of Elections and Ethics.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery