The next D.C. mayor's race is less than a year away, and Mayor Vincent Gray hasn't said publicly whether he'll seek reelection, but sources told News4 he is privately hinting he will.
Other candidates are lining up support, and the mayor doesn't want to be left out.
Ward 4 Council member Muriel Bowser already announced her campaign and has a big fundraiser Thursday night.
Ward 2's Jack Evans, Ward 6's Tommy Wells and at-large member David Catania all are exploring runs, and several others could jump in to the race.
The April 1 primary requires candidate petition gathering to start late this year.
Gray privately spoke to several people, urging them to hold off supporting any other candidates, sources told News4.
“How do you know I privately talk to anybody,” he said when asked. “I don't have a timetable on anything at this stage.”
A key unresolved issue for Gray is whether federal prosecutors will bring charges against him in the investigation of his 2010 bid and the expensive "shadow campaign" that helped elect him.
The mayor could get some more campaign breathing room. News4 first reported this week that Council Chairman Phil Mendelson and Ward 5 Council member Kenyan McDuffie are proposing the April 1 elections be moved to early June of next year, in part to campaign in better weather. It's unclear whether that election date change will be made, but it would give more time for the mayor to clear his name and then begin campaigning.
The mayor's private talks also include discussions about when he should announce.