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As Gray Fights For Re-Election, He Gets Notable Nod: Marion Barry

Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) is endorsing Mayor Vincent Gray for re-election.
WAMU/Jared Angle
Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) is endorsing Mayor Vincent Gray for re-election.

D.C. Council member and mayor-for-life Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) has kept quiet on the upcoming D.C. primary — until now. He's endorsing Mayor Vincent Gray for re-election.

Barry will make the formal announcement tomorrow at Matthews Memorial Baptist Church in Ward 8, after having campaigned alongside Gray over the weekend. The former four-term mayor supported Gray in his 2010 run against then-mayor Adrian Fenty.

In comments to The Washington Post last week, Barry questioned the timing of a recent indictment of D.C. businessman Jeffrey Thompson, who orchestrated an illegal, off-the-books campaign on behalf of Gray's 2010 bid. Thompson told federal prosecutors that Gray knew of the illicit effort.

“I think it’s also strange that the prosecutor waited until three weeks before the election to come out with this, they knew about this some time back," said Barry, who himself was prosecuted by the federal government for drug possession.

According to a recent WAMU/NBC4 poll, Gray is ahead of Council member Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4), though the poll was conducted before Thompson's recent blockbuster guilty plea. Gray was already leading in wards 7 and 8 with 48 percent of likely Democratic voters.

Gray and Bowser also face three other Council colleagues in the upcoming April 1 primary — Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) and Vincent Orange (D-At Large) — along with restaurant owner Andy Shallal, former State Department official Reta Jo Lewis and musician Carlos Allen. Council member David Catania (I-At Large) announced last week that he is running in November's general election.

Apart from Barry, Gray has also been endorsed by Council member Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7), while most of the remaining legislators not running for office themselves have largely stayed quiet.

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