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UPDATE: Gray campaign spokeswoman Traci Hughes left a message with LL saying the almost mayor “had absolutely no indication—no influence, nor did he persuade Juan concerning his decision with the D.C. State Democratic Committee.”

Who wants some super inside baseball?

Juan Thompson, a Ward 7 member of the Democratic State Committee (the group of 82 super Dems who will get to appoint Councilmember Kwame Brown‘s successor), has backed out of his plans to challenge current State Committee Chairwoman Anita Bonds.

Why? In a letter to other committee members Thompson suggests that Almost Mayor Vince Gray asked him to:

I received a large amount of vocal and non-verbal support, but the foundation for my nomination has been shifted by objectives other than of my own making.

As a result, I will now suspend my efforts for the nomination for a number of reasons. New leadership of the District of Columbia is on the horizon, and it is the choice of our presumptive leader to embrace the local Democratic Party and give it a renewed mission for tomorrow.

Thompson  then goes on to pretty much thrash the current state of the party, which maybe needs a little shaking up consider its headquarters is Executive Director David Meadows‘ basement. (The D.C. GOP, by contrast, has a nice street-level office downtown):

I sought this office for the good of the party, and not for personal gain.  The DCDSC has not been presented with an annual budget, set measurable goals, or had meaningful discussions in months.  For the few years I’ve been involved, State Committee members have not seen a viable succession plan, revised bylaws or constitution, or an annual report.  We have not much to show for all our work, except for some money in a couple of accounts and a number of opposition parties ready to make the District a focus of their attention. We must now work even harder to change our focus. Let’s get back to basics.

Thompson’s withdrawal paves the way for Bonds, a former aide to Marion Barry,to coast to an easy re-election next month. Her two-year tenure hasn’t been without controversy and LL hears that some folks are unhappy she’s not being challenged.

LL has reached out to Gray’s camp and Thompson and will follow up as necessary. In the meantime, read the full letter after the jump.

Fellow DC Democrats:

Over the last several weeks, many of you have received phone calls and e-mail messages from me and other members of the DC Democratic State Committee (DCDSC) in support of my strong interest in receiving the nomination for DCDSC Chairperson.  My platform was simple and to the point.  Our political organization has a real need to embrace systemic changes in the way that we do business and the manner that we support our candidates and electorate.  My vision was one of measureable goals and meaningful dialogues on the issues of the day that matter to local Democrats.  I received a large amount of vocal and non-verbal support, but the foundation for my nomination has been shifted by objectives other than of my own making.

As a result, I will now suspend my efforts for the nomination for a number of reasons.  New leadership of the District of Columbia is on the horizon, and it is the choice of our presumptive leader to embrace the local Democratic Party and give it a renewed mission for tomorrow.  And although I do love good healthy competition, my integrity and character are of utmost importance to me.  It is the very essence of who I am and that is why I have included all of you in my decision  One of my biggest character flaws is the willingness to include everyone in the decision making process. The Democratic Party has that tradition of inclusion, and I have always fought for that very principle.

I sought this office for the good of the party, and not for personal gain.  The DCDSC has not been presented with an annual budget, set measurable goals, or had meaningful discussions in months.  For the few years I’ve been involved, State Committee members have not seen a viable succession plan, revised bylaws or constitution, or an annual report.  We have not much to show for all our work, except for some money in a couple of accounts and a number of opposition parties ready to make the District a focus of their attention. We must now work even harder to change our focus. Let’s get back to basics.

Lastly, I leave you with these words of hope.  Of the many everyday “sayings or analogies” in my household, one is AMDG (ad maiorem Dei gloriam) which is latin “For greater glory of God” and the other is we are “Men for others”. Both are values were instilled in me and my sons from our days at Gonzaga High School.  One night a couple months ago while sitting at the dinner table with my family, my children were very inquisitive about what the DCDSC is, what its members do, and why I would want to lead the organization.  My kids grilled me as if I was on the witness stand in court.  At dinner’s end, I asked my four kids what I could say to fellow members that would encourage them to support me in this endeavor.  After several great answers, my 10-year-old excitedly raised his hand and said: “Tell them what you always tell us when we go camping, Dad – Always leave a place better off then the way you found it!”  My support for the DC Democratic State Committee is unwavering.  Still, know that we can always do better!  And, along with my fellow State Committee members, I intend to do whatever it takes to make that happen – now and in the future.

I thank all of you for your support, both great and small.  Attached please find a copy of my (former) draft platform statement.  And I will see you all next week for the officer nominations.

Kind regards,

Juan Manuel Thompson