The Washington Post has ramped up the stakes in the hotly-contested at-large D.C. Council race: Judging from the reporter assigned to the contest, the loser among the two main contestants might be written off as politically dead.

The pre-election profile of the Democratic primary contest between attorney A. Scott Bolden and incumbent Phil Mendelson is being penned by Joe Holley, a Metro reporter currently assigned to Post’s obituaries desk.

“I’ve been helping him write it for the last 21 months,” Bolden jokes, about what Bolden sees as a Mendelson political obit. “I ought to done by 10 p.m. Sept. 12.”

Even though vanquished long-term incumbents are most often chalked up as dead if defeated by an upstart, Mendelson thinks Bolden has overlooked a few details.

“He left me to interview Scott,” Mendelson says of Holley. “That would suggest we are both dead.”