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Ward 8 Councilmember Marion S. Barry Jr. still has a flair for tossing out big political statements—even if they aren’t true.

At a March 21 meeting of the Ward 8 Business Council, Barry told the small crowd gathered at the offices of the East of the River Development Corporation that he was backing At-Large Councilmember Vincent Gray‘s bid to be elected council chairman. But Barry didn’t stop with an endorsement. He went on to say that if Gray wins, Barry would become chair of the council’s Committee on Education and Libraries.

Could it be that Gray is already striking deals with councilmembers to garner political support? Not exactly. Gray, who is running for the top council spot against Ward 3 Councilmember Kathy Patterson, says he never promised Barry or anyone else a committee chairmanship in return for an endorsement. “He probably wants it,” Gray says. “But I haven’t made any commitments. We’ve got to get elected first.”