During an appearance on NewsChannel 8, Gray (D) responded to the resignation calls, which came from David A. Catania (I-At Large), Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) and Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4).
“I think it depends on which of the three you’re talking about,” Gray told host Bruce DePuyt.
Catania, he said, was politically motivated: “Let’s be honest. David Catania is a Republican who became an independent. We forget that we have partisan politics in the District of Columbia. . . . He never supported me. He certainly didn’t support me in the election.”
Catania, who was elected to the council as a Republican in 1997, left the GOP in 2004 after breaking with President George W. Bush over his support for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Since then, he has been one of the council’s most socially liberal but also fiscally conservative members.
Catania said he didn’t mind being referred to as a former Republican. “I also once went to summer camp,” he said.
He added, “It’s interesting he has something to say about the council members who called for his resignation but has nothing to say about the three felons who were associated with his campaign that damaged the electoral process of the District of Columbia.”
Gray has remained mostly mum about the recent prosecutions of campaign operatives for various federal offenses.
Bowser, Gray said, “wants to be mayor, so I’m hardly surprised at that.”
The Washington Post reported last month that Bowser was among several council members who have taken steps to prepare for citywide runs. She did not return a call for comment.
And Gray reiterated statements from Thursday that he was surprised and disappointed that Cheh, a constitutional law professor and supporter of Gray’s 2010 campaign, wouldn’t “let the process play out.”
“That is normally the way it works in America,” he said.
But Gray said he was personally hurt that Cheh turned to voice mail to inform him that she would be calling on him to step down. “She could have come upstairs and said, ‘Let me sit down and talk with you about this.’ I was a bit surprised about that,” he said.
Cheh responded: “I would imagine he is disappointed. I did want to speak with him directly, and I did leave other messages, but we were not able to connect.”
Gray won support from other quarters Friday, including from the city’s attorney general, Irvin B. Nathan, who praised the mayor’s record during an interview on WAMU (88.5 FM) and said calls for his resignation are “extremely premature.”
“In my judgment, this is an honest man who is doing a very good job as the mayor,” he said. “He is, in everything I’ve seen, ethical. There’s no cutting of corners. There’s no evasion of the law with respect to anything that’s going on in the governing of the District.”