Updated at 12:45 p.m. with a response from the Fenty campaign
D.C Council member Mary Cheh (D), who represents Ward 3 in Northwest, Thursday endorsed Vincent C. Gray for mayor.
Speaking on TBD, formerly News Channel 8, Cheh said she voted for Gray Tuesday during early voting at the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics.
Cheh, one of the most progressive and active members of the council, had long been expected to support Gray given her frequent criticism of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's administration. But Cheh, who is up for reelection this year but has no opponent in the Sept. 14 Democratic primary, has largely steered clear of the mayor's race until this week.
"I did vote yesterday and I voted for myself, but I voted for Vince Gray and I am going to support Vince Gray and I hope the residents of my ward and around the District also support Vince Gray," Cheh said. "I have worked with him over the past 4 years shoulder to shoulder, and I have become an admirer. He is a man of integrity, thoughtful and he will be a leader."
Cheh, who will start campaigning for Gray in Ward 3 today, accused Fenty of governing through "secrecy and closed-doors."
Cheh's Republican opponent in the general election, David Hedgepeth, recently endorsed Fenty.
The Fenty campaign responded to the endorsement by attacking Cheh. "Mary Cheh has chosen to align herself against education reform, against public safety and against the improvements of the last three years," said Sean Madigan, a Fenty spokesman. "More importantly, she has shown she is more interested in cutting political deals than in listening to her neighbors."
Cheh was not immediately available to respond to Madigan's statement.