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Well, that didn’t take long: Anthony Motley will be running as an independent for an at-large council seat in 2010.

As first reported by LL last month, Motley is the first non-incumbent to declare for the 2010 at-large race, but there was some question over whether he would run as a Democrat or not. Motley is an elected member of the D.C. Democratic State Committee, but rumors and a sign posted at his Web site had him running as an independent. Ahem, “Independent Democrat.”

No more suspense, though: At last night’s DCDSC meeting, Motley announced to the group that we was officially resigning his seat, and that by next week, he would no longer be registered as a Democrat. He received, according to a member present, “polite applause.”

Why the party maneuvering? That would be the District charter’s prohibition on electing more than three of the five at-large council seats to members of the same party. The effect of that provision in a majority-Dem town is that three of the five seats (council chair and two at-large seats) are reserved for Democrats, while the other two seats are reserved for members of other parties (Hilda Mason, Carol Schwartz), persons whom no party could contain (David Catania), or for Democrats posing as independents (Michael A. Brown, Bill Lightfoot).

Motley’s move puts him in de facto competition with Catania, should he choose to run, rather than having to face a bruising primary battle with Phil Mendelson, who beat Motley supporter A. Scott Bolden handily in 2006 and held his first 2010 fundraiser last night. Motley’s scheduled a meeting tomorrow with backers at Bolden’s law office.

In other DCDSC news, the party passed a pair of resolutions that could be seen as rebukes to Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. One was to support the efforts of Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton and House leaders Steny Hoyer and Nancy Pelosi to keep gun legislation off the D.C. House Voting Rights Act—-not to take voting rights, guns and all, like Fenty has suggested. The other was to support a full public holiday for Emancipation Day. As first reported by LL, Fenty’s 2010 budget proposal turns it into a “private holiday” in order to save on overtime costs.