Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and his chief Democratic challenger, Vincent C. Gray, will face off in two events Wednesday night in wards 2 and 4.
Polls show that Fenty leads Gray, the current council chairman, in Ward 2, where they will compete in a straw poll. Meanwhile, Gray has been making inroads in Ward 4, where Fenty served as council member for six years before he was elected mayor in 2006.
Nowhere does Fenty have more to lose than in Ward 4. Conventional wisdom and political tarot readers have wards 5, 7 and 8 potentially in Gray's column in the Sept. 14 Democratic primary. Fenty would win wards 1, 2 and 3. They would split Ward 6. That clears they way for the mayor's former epicenter of popularity to become the battleground in the race.
Five neighborhood groups are teaming up to hold a 6:30 p.m. forum at Takoma Park Baptist Church at 635 Aspen St. NW. Fenty and Gray will not be in a one-on-one matchup as in recent debates -- other mayoral candidates, including former TV reporter Leo Alexander, have confirmed they will participate. The event also will feature a forum of candidates vying for D.C. Council chairman.
The Ward 2 straw poll, sponsored by the Ward 2 Democrats and the Logan Circle Community Association, will be held at the Washington Plaza Hotel at 10 Thomas Circle NW, with registration beginning at 7 p.m.