David Catania has been a D.C. Council member since 1997, when he won a special election.
District of Columbia Council member David Catania is filing paperwork to run for mayor as an independent in the midst of a fundraising scandal involving Mayor Vincent Gray's 2010 campaign.
Catania could pose a challenge to the Democratic nominee in this year's general election, even though the district is heavily Democratic. Catania is a gay former Republican with a progressive record. He first won a citywide at-large council seat in 1997 and has been re-elected four times.
Catania is opened his campaign Wednesday, registering his candidacy with the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance.
His entry follows the allegations by federal prosecutors that Mayor Vincent Gray not only knew about the illegal shadow campaign to help him in 2010, but personally asked businessman Jeffrey Thompson for funds.
Catania says it's time for DC to move past the scandal.
“This whole drama that we've had — this Jeff Thompson-Vince Gray drama — the time has come for this to end," Catania says. "We need to be talking about how our kids are ready to succeed... I’m talking about my vision for the city, which doesn't include serving as a human lie detector for Jeff Thompson or Vince Gray.”
Catania, who is white, openly gay, and a former Republican, dismissed concerns that he can't win in D.C., saying that he would be "delighted" to put his record against any of the candidates with a Democrat next to their name.
Catania has won several city-wide races at an at-large council member and has focused on healthcare and education issues. He also helped lead the effort to legalize same-sex marriage in D.C. — an issue that Catania says led him to leave the Republican party.