The primary to elect D.C.'s next mayor is still a more than a year away, but one council member is getting closer to throwing his hat in the ring. Ward 6 Council member Tommy Wells formally announced the creation of a "mayoral exploratory committee" Monday.
The committee is a way for Wells to test the waters and gauge interest in a possible campaign. Wells, a Democrat, launched a website Monday announcing the move with a short video.
As a council member, Wells is best known for pushing for campaign finance reform and as a proponent of "livable, walkable" neighborhoods.
"In a livable walkable neighborhood, you have neighborhood that you love and you can walk to, fresh food and great transit to get you where you want to get to," Wells says.
There are two big questions for Wells as he undertakes a mayoral run. First, will he be able to raise the money needed to run a city-wide campaign for mayor, given his strong stance on ending corporate contributions in local politics? And is D.C. ready, as Wells was asked on WAMU's The Politics Hour last Friday, to elect its first white mayor?
"I believe absolutely," Wells said. "You know, somebody would say, 'Is the country ready for a black president?' Apparently we are."
Wells isn't the only council member considering a run for mayor. Ward 2 Council member Jack Evans and Ward 4 Council MemberMuriel Bowser are both said to be exploring bids as well. Mayor Vincent Gray, meanwhile, has not announced whether he will seek a second term.
Virginia's attorney general Ken Cuccinelli will face former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe in November to become Virginia's 72nd governor.