D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray leaves supporters guessing about his reelection plans

November 23, 2013

The most obvious event that was on the horizon for D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) to announce whether he will run for reelection came and went Friday night with supporters chanting, “Four more years!” but leaving no surer of his intentions.

“I absolutely love the District of Columbia. . . . I love working on behalf of the District of Columbia, and I’m not going any further right now, okay?” Gray said.

The mayor’s comments to about 100 supporters who attended a cocktail party billed as both a mayoral birthday party and a fundraiser elicited audible sighs from some. But at times, Gray also toyed with the crowd.

He suggested that the less than six weeks that remain before he must submit 2,000 signatures to qualify for the April 1 Democratic primary is still plenty of time.

“It should be obvious that I’m not making any announcements tonight,” Gray said at his only publicly scheduled event with core supporters. “It should also be obvious that . . . I know when Jan. 2 is,” he said.

“If I were to possibly run, is there anybody in this room who would help me?” Gray said, drawing hoots and shouts of support.

The mayor’s coyness came a day after he acknowledged in a televised interview that an ongoing federal investigation into his successful bid for mayor in 2010 has played a significant role in keeping him from announcing his plans so far.

“We’d love this situation to be over with,” Gray said of U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr.’s investigation into an alleged $650,000 “shadow campaign.” Gray said on NewsChannel 8 that the investigation has “gone on for a very long time. And it would be better to have that behind me.”

At his party Friday night, Gray was introduced by Barbara Lang, head of the D.C. Chamber of Commerce, who praised him for expanding business opportunities.

Aaron Davis covers D.C. government and politics for The Post and wants to hear your story about how D.C. works — or how it doesn’t.
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