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An aide to Mayor Adrian Fenty‘s re-election campaign just e-mailed a bunch of D.C. political reporters and bloggers a photo of one-time mayor-for-life Marion Barry wearing a Vincent Gray campaign t-shirt (and hat, it looks like). The Ward 8 councilmember hadn’t officially endorsed Gray yet, but he has shown up at a few events, including the high-profile Ward 4 straw poll, to back him.

The fact that the Fenty camp was so eager to get the image out just underscores the fascinating racial dynamic at work in the primary—one in which white voters appear to be breaking heavily for Fenty, and black voters seem to be going for Gray. Who runs the place once known as “Chocolate City” may well come down to what percentage of the electorate on Sept. 14 is white.

Barry’s support for Gray may help the D.C. Council chairman in parts of the city, but it’ll also feed into Fenty’s narrative that Gray wants to take the city back to the way things were before, well, a lot of white folks moved in. (A narrative Washington City Paper lampooned here, complete with several shots of Barry.) UPDATE: Of course, four years ago, Barry endorsed Fenty, though Fenty didn’t campaign publicly with the former mayor then. They did pose together at Fenty’s inaugural ball, as Gray’s campaign noted last night.

The photo, after the jump: