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Stand down, everyone looking for a crazy plot twist in the Amazing Saga of Adrian Fenty: Though he won the Republican nomination Tuesday as a write-in candidate, even if Fenty wanted to make the reporters of this town do a spit-take by running on the GOP line in November (which he apparently doesn’t), he’s not allowed to.

A phone call from the Board of Ethics and Elections (BOEE) this morning warned GOP executive director Paul Craney that a party-switching  Fenty is a pipe dream. “They’ve done research, and Fenty cannot accept the nomination,” he says he was told.

The BOEE believes amendedD.C. Law 7-92applies to the strange situation. It says that during primaries, victorious write-in candidate’s need to be registered with the political party that’s nominating them. (So Anthony Williams, despite failing to qualify for the primary ballot in 2002, was still able to accept the Democratic nomination after his write-in campaign.)

So was Craney hoping against hope that he’d  get a phone call from Fenty in which the politician gushingly accepted the Republican ticket? “I’ve seen weirder things happen in D.C. politics,” he says. “Look at Marion Barry.”

The GOP would have certainly had him: “If he were to accept the Republican nomination, the D.C. Republican Committee and the 29,728 District Republicans would overwhelming support him,” stated GOP Chairman Bob Kabel.

Calls to the BOEE weren’t immediately returned. For what it’s worth, Fenty won 822 of the 1,396 write-in ballots cast in the GOP race, but Craney says if they can’t run Fenty, they won’t put anyone up, no matter who got the rest of the write-ins. (Also, Kwame Brown won the GOP nomination for D.C. Council chairman, with 122 votes, and Phil Mendelson won the Republican nomination for the at-large council seat. Presumably, they can’t accept those nods, either. But since they won the Democratic campaigns, too, they probably don’t mind.)

Photo by Darrow Montgomery