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If Vince Gray runs for mayor as reports indicate, he forfeits an almost certain re-election as council chairman. So who runs?

Jack Evans: Back in September, the Ward 2 councilmember told LL he’d “be interested” in running for chair if Gray ran for mayor. But Evans, in his past, has pledged mayoral runs only to think the better of it. But Evans wouldn’t have to give up his seat, and he can raise cash like no one’s business.

Kwame Brown: Brown has kept absolutely mum about a chairman’s run. Like Evans, he doesn’t have to risk his seat to run and is a prodigious fundraiser. Plus, he’s only two years removed from an impressive citywide landslide victory. LL has gotten indications today that Brown is gathering support for a run.

Phil Mendelson: Mendelson’s already hit the ground running for his at-large re-election campaign. Question is: Would he take the risk of running for the chairmanship? Not known for bringing in huge amounts of cash, but has an impeccable record of fending off better-financed challengers.

Kathy Patterson: The former Ward 3 councilmember lost to Gray by a decent margin in 2006, but she retains widespread respect in the city and might see a path to victory depending on who decides to run.

Vincent Orange: The former Ward 5 councilmember risked his seat to run for mayor in 2006 and lost, but he may see a path back to electoral office in the now-vacated chairmanship. But would Orange have to give up his lucrative Pepco lobbying job to run?

David Catania: The at-large independent has an impressive record to run on and a formidable fundraising machine. But his chief of staff, Ben Young, tells LL that his boss has no plans “at this time” to seek the chair.