Capozzi questioned the state committee’s plans to make the decision so soon.
“They are making it more difficult for the average person to have input,” said Capozzi, who served as the District’s shadow representative to Congress from 1995 to 1997.
Although the interim appointee also secures the backing of the local Democratic Party and some of the advantages of incumbency, there is not expected to be a clear front-runner in the special election, which will probably be a low-turnout contest.
Last year, the state committee selected Biddle as an interim council member after Kwame Brown gave up an at-large seat to become council chairman. Four months later, Vincent B. Orange (D) defeated Biddle in the special election.
Biddle challenged Orange in the Democratic primary this year and lost by fewer than 2,000 votes. In an interview, Biddle said he’s now “very interested” in entering his third council race in less than two years.
“I am just dedicated to making sure D.C. gets the best leadership to bring us together and take us forward,” said Biddle, a vice president of advocacy for UNCF, formerly known as the United Negro College Fund.
Michael A. Brown, who was unseated by independent David Grosso in November, is also sending signals that he, perhaps, hopes his absence from the council will be short-lived.
In an interview with the Afro-American newspaper last week, Brown attributed his loss to unfair media coverage of his financial and campaign troubles and to voter confusion because shadow senator Michael D. Brown was also running in November as an at-large council candidate.
When asked if he planned to run, Brown responded: “You will hear that when I have a chance to talk about it later.”
Shapiro, who unsuccessfully challenged Orange this year, said he is considering the race. “It’s a special election, so we can expect low turnout,” Shapiro said. “So it’s going to come down to the real basics of any campaign: good organizing, fundraising . . . and a very scientific approach to campaigning.”
The likelihood of a small turnout could lure Mara into trying to win a seat on the council for the GOP. Republicans make up less than 7 percent of registered voters in the District, but Mara also has some support among independents and Democrats.
In the 2011 special election, Mara finished second behind Orange, losing by about 1,700 votes.
Mara, who also ran unsuccessfully for the council in 2008, said in an interview that “there is a good possibility” he will run in the special election.
Mike DeBonis contributed to this report.