In a move somewhat less surprising than the other big D.C. political news of the day, restaurateur Andy Shallal said Friday he intends to enter the D.C. mayoral race.
“The first thing they said was, ‘Why do you want to be in this messy, filthy business,'” he said. “That’s not reassuring.”
But Shallal said he felt he wants to take a stab at bridging the city’s cultural and economic divides, and he’s planned a campaign kickoff for Tuesday at Ben’s Chili Bowl.
Shallal said his decision came after weeks of trying to get a bead on incumbent mayor Vincent C. Gray’s reelection plans, but, until recently, he wasn’t able to get through: “I’ve called, I’ve tweeted, I’ve texted,” he said. Recently, he said, he spoke with Gray and mayoral chief of staff Christopher Murphy.
His message: “I told him once I’m in, I’m going to stay in.”