Former Mayor Vincent Gray Planning Campaign for DC Council | NBC4 Washington
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Former Mayor Vincent Gray Planning Campaign for DC Council

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    NEWSLETTERS

    News4's Tom Sherwood has reaction from current DC Mayor Muriel Bowser to the news that her predecessor, Vincent Gray, is planning a return to District politics with a council seat run. (Published Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016)

    Former D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray is expected to announce Thursday that he's ready to run for office again -- this time, for the D.C. Council.

    There's no question that Gray loved being mayor, and that he was popular. But Gray lost his chances for a second term when Muriel Bowser defeated him in the Democratic primary. He lost in part due to a long-running federal probe into a shadow campaign scandal that helped elect Gray mayor in 2010. In December, prosecutors ended that probe without charging Gray.

    Gray will be on the WAMU Kojo Namdi show at noon Thursday to announce his expected run for the D.C. Council. Gray previously served on the Council, representing Ward 7 and as Council chairman before he was elected mayor.

    Gray has been publicly eyeing the At-Large seat held by Democrat Vincent Orange and his old Ward 7 seat, now held by Yvette Alexander. Sources say Alexander's Ward 7 seat is Gray's choice.

    "I have my eye on Ward 7," Alexander said. "I'm continuing to do the work, so you know, I'm going to continue to do the things that I do no matter who runs, whether it be Vince Gray or not."

    A professional poll paid for by Gray supporters last month showed Gray is popular in his home of Ward 7, leading Alexander 48 percent to 32 percent.

    At-Large Democrat Vincent Orange has kept an eye over his shoulder for a possible Gray challenge. The same poll showed Gray leading Orange 49 percent to 26 percent.

    "I have a clear path to victory on June 14; that's the only thing I'm focused on, and I don't see [Gray] or anyone that's not registered in that path," Orange said.

    But Bowser isn't anxious to see Gray back on the Council -- Orange and Alexander are both strong supporters of Bowser. With his deep knowledge of the city government, Gray could be a tough adversary for Bowser on the council.