In recent weeks, two political action committees, five City Council members, local ministers and a lawsuit have played a role in a movement to draft City Council member Jerry A. Moore Jr. (R-At-Large) as a write-in candidate for the November general election.
Moore, who lost his primary bid for the Republican at-large council nomination, has remained silent.
For the first time, representatives from the various draft movements plan to unite during a press conference today at the First Rising Mt. Zion Baptist Church.
Friday night, a rally in support of the draft movement coordinated by local ministers will be held in the 19th Street Baptist Church, where Moore is the pastor.
At some point between the two events, or shortly thereafter, Moore is expected to end his silence.
The five council members (all of them Democrats) and other Moore supporters have argued that all of the city's voters (the majority of them Democrats) deserve a chance to say whether Moore, the council's lone Republican, should retain his council seat.
"Unfortunately, the Republican Party in the District of Columbia has a relatively small number of people," said Rev. Ernest R. Gibson, pastor of the First Rising Mt. Zion Baptist Church and executive director of the Council of Churches of Greater Washington.
"They do not adequately reflect the feelings of the city," he said. "The total city needs the opportunity to make a statement regarding his [Moore's] value and service to the city."
Former school board member Carol Schwartz defeated Moore in the Sept. 11 party primary by winning 57 percent of the vote.
While some political observers point out that no write-in candidate has ever won a council seat in a general election, others believe that Moore's chances may be improving.
Norman Neverson, the Democrat who became an independent to run for an at-large seat, dropped out of the race after it was reported that he recently testified in a workman's compensation case that he was disabled due to a painful foot ailment and destitute to the point of having to stand in line at a church for free bread and cheese.
With Neverson out of the race, some of his backers are expected to support Moore.
Mayor Marion Barry endorsed Moore for the primary race, but has not indicated his preference for the general election.
Sources say that Ivanhoe Donaldson, one of the mayor's staunchest supporters and chairman of the Democratic State Committee, has met privately with Moore supporters and plans to work for Moore.
Donaldson acknowledged that Moore's backers had asked for his support, but he said, "I'm not working for Jerry's campaign."
He said, however, that it is likely that "a lot of the mayor's people will support Moore," if he decides to run.
"If he announces, I probably will have something to say about it," Donaldson said.
"He has a lot of support. If this candidacy becomes real, I assume that a lot of people who are supporting him will express that support."
But Moore will also have some vocal detractors.
Other candidates seeking an at-large council seat have condemned the idea of Moore running as a write-in candidate.
Schwartz has said that she hoped he would support his party's nominee.
Some Democrats also object to another Moore campaign.
"I personally will be doing everything to see that he doesn't win, just on principle," said Theodis R. (Ted) Gay, former chairman of the Democratic State Committee.
Gay said that Moore made a moral commitment when he ran in the primary for his party's nomination: "If I didn't win my party's nomination, I'm slapping it in the face by running as a write-in."
"To me," he said, "that individual has lost all integrity."
Some Democrats point out that it would be difficult for Moore to campaign as a Republican, unlikely that he would call himself an independent and ironic if he claimed to be a Democrat since he denied charges of being a Democrat in disguise during the Republican primary campaign.
Howard Croft, a member of the Democratic State Committee, said that he believes that Democratic City Council members are sending the wrong message by supporting Moore.
"I think they are essentially sending a message to the community, whether they mean to or not, that the City Council is a closed club and if a member in good standing loses, they will try to get that person back on."
But a number of council members endorsed Moore before he lost the primary and argue that their support is a continuation of their earlier endorsements.
City Council Chairman David A. Clarke said that Moore has provided a "firm, soft voice" on the council and that "he has certain qualities that will be very difficult, if not impossible, to replace in terms of the operation of the council."