UPDATE, 4/23

Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham, seeking a third fourth term this fall, is facing another motivated challenger.

Bryan Weaver, a community activist and advisory neighborhood commissioner in Adams Morgan, is set to announce his run at noon on Saturday. The kickoff is being held in Weaver’s stomping grounds—-Walter Pierce Park, home base for the basketball fanatic and his Hoops Sagrado nonprofit.

A message distributed to supporters today touts Weaver’s “new vision and bold leadership for a better Ward One that answers to Ward One residents.”

The message continues: “We need better accountability and transparency, smarter crime prevention and youth programs, strategies to grow and revitalize Ward One’s diverse small business community, ways to nurture and support Ward One’s vital multicultural identity, a strong Green Economy led by Ward One residents and businesses, a true recycling program worthy of Ward One’s and the District’s progressive identity, better partnerships with parents and guardians for strong schools at every level, a safer Metro system, and more.”

Weaver joins Jeff Smith, a school board member turned nonprofit executive, in challenging Graham. Smith made his run official last month after a short exploratory period. Weaver established an exploratory committee back in November. The committee’s last finance report, filed in late March, showed $29,268 in cash on hand.

Smith, in a report filed in late February, showed a $38,831 balance in his campaign account. Graham, meanwhile, had more than $189,000 on hand as of March 10.

Both Weaver and Smith are hoping that, after re-electing Graham twice by large margins, voters have soured on the bespectacled, Volkswagen-driving incumbent. His longtime chief of staff, you will no doubt recall, was arrested for taking bribes last fall; prosecutors recently added a plethora of new charges. But none of the allegations has yet touched Graham personally.

Graham’s campaign spokesperson, Chuck Thies, says that Weaver’s priorities, as listed in his announcement, “are the very things Jim Graham has been actively engaged in and accomplishing for the past 12 years.”

“Imitation may be the most sincere form of flattery,” he says, “but it’s not the best campaign platform.”

UPDATE, 4/23: At Graham’s request, LL is happy to make this crystal-clear: There is no evidence, allegation, or charge that suggests that Graham had any knowledge of or role in Loza’s alleged crimes, and LL has no knowledge of any evidence, allegations, or charges yet to be disclosed.