D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray spent Monday at seven -- seven! -- ribbon-cuttings, celebrating the opening of new businesses in the District.
Gray said the string of ribbon-cuttings shows how popular the District has become as a location for new businesses. "We are absolutely red-hot," Gray said. "This is the place to be."
But News4's Tom Sherwood reported, the ribbon-cuttings could also be a sign that Gray has become a lame duck since losing his bid for re-election in April.
Gray lost the Democratic primary April 1 to Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser, who now faces at-large Councilmember David Catania, running as an independent, in a November general election. The election is already heating up and is likely to take attention from the final days of the Gray administration.
In fact, the D.C. Council already has moved to delay or limit some of the initiatives that Gray has pushed for.
It has pulled seed money for a new hospital east of the Anacostia River, cut the mayor's requested funding for new streetcars in half and now is hinting it may not go along with his proposal to build a new soccer stadium for D.C. United, his last big project.
The stadium is proposed for Buzzards Point in Southwest D.C., but requires both funding and land deals that must be approved by council.
Gray is hoping the public will lobby on behalf of the stadium.
"I hope they will make their voices heard to the council about how important this project is," he said.
And he brushed off the lame duck label, saying he intends to keep his plans going for the next seven months.
"We put together a plan over the next seven months to continue our activities," Gray said. Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4
"So you'll keep plugging away?" Sherwood asked.
"Absolutely," Gray responded.