Earlier today, Adam Clampitt filed documents with the city declaring his candidacy for an at-large seat on the D.C. Council. An independent, he’s eyeing the guaranteed non-Democratic slot now held by Republican Carol Schwartz.

The fact that Clampitt is the first candidate to file, more than 10 months ahead of the election, is interesting enough, but still more intriguing: Clampitt’s campaign chair is Judith Terra, the socialite and arts patron who took a heavy interest in the successful campaigns of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser. A 2005 fundraiser at her Crestwood mansion, White Oak, brought more than $35,000 to the Fenty campaign. It’s a pick that brings Clampitt a dose of instant credibility.

Terra is traveling and was unavailable for comment today, but Clampitt says she has been a friend of his family’s for many years. When he and Terra worked together on Bowser’s campaign earlier this year, he says, “That’s how we really connected.”

“She’s looking for good, young leadership to take the city forward,” says Clampitt, who says that Terra’s role is to be “very symbolic of the campaign” and to “rally the troops.”

Other members of his team: co-chair Jauhar Abraham, who’s founder and CEO of Peaceoholics; campaign manager Lane Hudson, who’s involved in the Ward 1 Democrats and gay issues; and treasurer Judy Zamore, who filled the same role for Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) in 2006. (“I thought that was symbolic,” Clampitt says, “because Sherrod Brown was someone who beat a very entrenched Republican.”)

Worthy of note: Terra used to be GOP-friendly herself. Her late husband, Daniel Terra, was a legendary fundraiser for Ronald Reagan, which won him a slot as “cultural ambassador at large” in the 1980s. Terra told the previous LL that Reagan “was just a very, very nice man…and he had the strength that comes with a strong set of convictions.”

Schwartz said in an interview earlier this month that she plans to run for re-election but has yet to start campaigning. Her top aide, John Abbot, had no comment today. Currently “exploring” and also likely to file in the race is Ward 1 attorney and advisory neighborhood commissioner Dee Hunter.

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