The race to be elected Mayor of the District of Columbia in 2014 now has two official participants after Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells officially announced his candidacy Saturday afternoon in Northeast D.C.
Wells, an advocate of investing in public transit who has served on the D.C. Council since 2006, pulled up to the event at Starburst Plaza in a Metrobus before his speech, in which he described Mayor Vincent Gray's term of office as "the greatest ethical crisis since the beginning of home rule."
"We're moving forward," said Wells, who vowed not to accept donations from corporations or lobbyists in his speech. "We're bringing in new jobs. If we have a corrupt government, it's all at risk."
Gray, who remains under investigation for issues related to the financing of his successful 2010 mayoral campaign, has not yet announced whether he will run for a second term. In March, Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser officially became the first to challenge Gray when she declared her mayoral candidacy.
In addition to his ethics promise, Wells also introduced three initiatives: halving juvenile crime in the first 24 months of his administration, improving elementary education ("we will be sure that every family in Washington D.C. has a quality elementary school in walking distance to their home that they can attend as a matter of right"), and investing in what he called "the next generation of public transit."
The announcement came more than three months after Wells filed formal papers to begin an exploratory committee, the first candidate to do so. Due to his mayoral run, Wells has forfeited a chance at a third term representing Ward 6 on the Council.