D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) said Saturday "a lot of people would be disappointed' if Mayor Adrian M. Fenty runs as a Republican in the General Election should he lose the Sept. 14 Democratic primary.
Fenty, however, reiterated Saturday he would never run as a Republican, likely killing speculation that the mayor would accept the GOP nomination if it were offered to him.
"I'm a Democrat, that is why I wouldn't run as a Republican," said Fenty, without hesitation, when asked if he would consider running on the GOP ticket.
With no Republican filing to run as mayor, some GOP leaders say they plan to write in Fenty's name on their party primary ballot. Joe Grano, a longtime city Republican in Ward 3, told the Washington Post's Mike DeBonis Saturday he's going to write in Fenty and is urging his fellow partisans to do the same.
If enough Republicans write-in Fenty on Tuesday, many observers believe the mayor could accept the nomination if he switches parties before the November 2 election.
Paul Craney, executive director of the D.C. Republican Committee, has said many District Republicans like Fenty because they support school reform and Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee. Fenty would also likely be very competitive among independent voters who cannot vote in the Democratic primary.
When reporters asked Gray if he would be up for a second round with Fenty in the fall, the chairman said he fully expects the mayor to remain a Democrat.
"I think for somebody who purports to be a lifelong Democrat, I think a lot of people would be very disappointed to see him do something so opportunistic rather than see him stay faithful to his party," Gray said.