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After months of public indecisiveness, Mayor Vince Gray announced earlier this week that he’d be seeking the city’s top office once again. The other noteworthy part of his announcement was his campaign manager pick, Chuck Thies: a savvy political operative not known for his temperate personality whose most recent gig has been writing local political columns for NBCWashington.com.
An editor at NBC said that when they learned Thies would be managing the Gray campaign, they told him he could no longer write for the site. There is no plan to resume his column after the election.
Considering Thies’ new position, nothing too surprising comes out of a reading of his past columns. He consistently came to the mayor’s defense when others called for his resignation and on a number of occasions, laid out why, despite the federal probe into his 2010 campaign, Gray would make a strong candidate in 2014. And most importantly, he doesn’t believe Gray stole the 2010 election.
Here are some highlights of Thies writing about Gray in his columns:
Gray Skies are Not Clearing in D.C; May 22, 2012
One thing we do know, however, is that Gray has already weathered the storm of scandal and proved his ability to govern regardless of accusations and rumor amidst a media feeding frenzy.
Gray’s Critics Need a History Lesson; July 17, 2012
The presumption of innocence afforded to [Anthony] Williams is not being granted to Gray. Quite a double standard, in particular if you review history and apply reason to the current state of affairs.
The criminals who broke laws to get Williams on the ballot demonstrably undermined the Democratic process.
The criminals who broke laws during the Gray campaign had a nominal impact on his election.
Those who conspired to pay fringe candidate Sulaimon Brown to attack then-Mayor Adrian Fenty did so in vain. No one believes Brown had any impact.
Gray 2014; Feb. 19, 2013
Gray will have no trouble assembling a lineup of qualified experts. The best consultants love controversy and the challenges that go with it…Gray ran a very cost-effective campaign in 2010. He unseated then-Mayor Adrian Fenty despite being outspent by millions of dollars. If Gray decides to seek reelection, he should be able to raise all the money needed to mount an effective citywide effort.
Poll Finds Candidates for D.C. Mayor are Mundane; August 8, 2013
Voters deserve better from the challengers and Gray, who has yet to announce whether or not he will seek reelection.
If none of these folks win they will have themselves to blame. Valuable days have already been squandered. Opportunities to test ideas and trade barbs have likewise been wasted.
Time for Mayor Gray to Decide; November 15, 2013
If I were Gray, the ongoing investigation and fallout from 2010 is what would convince me that I needed to run for reelection.
The main rap against Gray is his first campaign for mayor. A winning effort in 2014, devoid of scandal and drama, would disarm critics of their principal weapon. As well, a dexterous reelection campaign could be the vehicle whereby Gray takes the lead in defining his legacy, as opposed to the narrative preferred by hecklers.
Correction: This post originally included an AP article posted on NBC’s website that included a quote from Thies, but was not written by him.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery.