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Mayor Vincent Gray Makes Re-Election Campaign Official

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D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray has held off making his campaign for re-election official, until today.
(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray has held off making his campaign for re-election official, until today.
Official Candidates for D.C. Mayor:

On Monday D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray picked up petitions from the elections board, announcing his intent to run for re-election and ending months of speculation about the his political future.

The decision means that Gray will join an already crowded field that already includes four council members — a quarter of the council — are running, as well as several other candidates.

Gray and the other candidates will have until Jan. 2 to collect 2,000 signatures to get on the ballot for the April 1 primary.

The ongoing federal investigation into city government corruption and Gray's 2010 campaign, as well as the guilty pleas of four people associated with it, have cast a shadow over the mayor's political career.

Gray hasn't been charged with any wrongdoing, but questions about what he knew about the illegal effort to help him in 2010 have dogged the mayor throughout his tenure. Still, he said that despite the ongoing investigation, he had committed no crimes.

"The 2010 campaign has been discussed many, many times at many, many venues. It's obviously still being investigated. I've talked with you, other people — I didn't do anything," he said.

At the same time, Gray has led D.C. during a relatively prosperous era: violent crime is down, the real estate market is up, and the city's population is growing for the first time in decades. In a letter to supporters, Gray said that progress would form the foundation of his fight for a second term.

"I am running for reelection to build on the progress and achievements of our first term. We are accomplishing what we set out to do. Step by step, we are moving our city forward. We have built strong foundations. But our work is not done," he wrote.

Regardless, his entrance into the race drew swift condemnation from Council member Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6), who said that Gray's 2010 campaign would cast a shadow on his bid for a second term.

“Vince Gray was elected under false pretenses and doesn’t deserve a second chance because he ran a corrupt campaign," said Wells.

Gray's entrance into the race shakes up a contest already filled with uncertainty, but for now, one of the biggest questions in D.C. politics finally has an answer.

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