The announcement is set for Saturday morning at Bowser’s childhood home in the North Michigan Park neighborhood, said a campaign adviser who was not authorized to comment publicly.
In an interview Monday, Bowser acknowledged that “there will be an announcement” Saturday, but she declined to discuss its nature. Two people involved in the campaign but not authorized to comment publicly confirmed that she will announce a mayoral run.
Several council members, emboldened by Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s early missteps and the ongoing federal investigation into his 2010 campaign, have made moves toward entering the race. But barring a surprise announcement from a rival this week, Bowser will be the first to formally declare her intentions.
Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) launched an exploratory campaign in January and has said he is likely to officially enter the contest this spring. Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) also has said he plans to enter the race, and David A. Catania (I-At Large) has pondered running.
Of the council members said to be considering a run, Bowser is the only woman, only African American and only District native. After winning the 2007 special election to fill Fenty’s Ward 4 seat, she was reelected in 2008 and 2012.
Gray (D) has declined to discuss whether he plans to seek reelection, though he has privately told advisers he is considering a run.
Speculation that Bowser might pursue citywide office next year was stoked during her last campaign, for which she raised nearly $356,000to defeat only token opposition — a show of fundraising strength. Evans, who has long eyed citywide office, raised about $370,000 for his unopposed race last year.
Early in her term, Bowser embraced the Fenty association — not only backing him on virtually all of his political initiatives but also choosing the same shade of green for her campaign signs that he used for his council and mayoral runs.
But after Fenty’s 10-percentage-point loss to Gray in the 2010 Democratic primary, Bowser moved to distance herself politically from the former mayor, who had become divisive in the black middle-class neighborhoods that make up the heart of Bowser’s ward. The green color scheme, for instance, turned yellow.
Gray’s political morass and Bowser’s easy 2012 victory, however, have made the Fenty association less troublesome today.
A Washington Post poll conducted in July found that the public’s opinion of Fenty’s performance as mayor has improved significantly since he left office. About one-fourth of those polled who voted for Gray in the 2010 primary said they would vote for Fenty instead.