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Jim Graham has represented Ward 1 on the D.C. Council since 1999. By now, you’d expect him to know who his constituencies are and aren’t. Apparently, though, Graham needs more information. Graham tells LL he’ll file papers today to launch an exploratory committee to consider a re-election campaign.
“I just want to talk to people,” Graham says. “I want to consider issues.”
If he does run, Graham will be the fourth candidate in a crowded race that already features three others candidates. Graham also doesn’t have much time to make up his mind, with petitions to be on the primary ballot available on Nov. 8.
Graham isn’t new to re-election exploratory committees. He had one in 2002, when looser disclosure laws spawned a golden age of exploratory committees. The lax requirements allowed Graham to conceal his committee’s donors—-until a now-shuttered community newspaper hassled him into publishing their names.
Exploratory committees are less popular now that the laws have changed. So far, Ward 1 candidate Brianne Nadeau, mayoral hopeful Tommy Wells, and Ward 6 candidate Darrel Thompson has registered one for 2014. Busboys & Poets owner Andy Shallal also has plans to register an exploratory committee for a mayoral run.
UPDATE, 11 a.m.: Ward 1 candidate Brianne Nadeau has already put out a statement on Graham’s exploratory committee. “After four terms and 15 years as a council member, what does Graham have left to explore?” she writes.
Nadeau’s full statement:
After four terms and 15 years as a council member, what does Graham have left to explore? I’m meeting with hundreds of voters every week who are ready and asking for a change. Ward 1 deserves a leader who is honest, hard-working and willing to tackle our long-term problems through creativity and collaboration.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery