Wednesday’s debate was hosted by the D.C. Bar and held at the downtown offices of the Arent Fox law firm. (Mike DeBonis/The Washington Post)

The gaggle of petition circulators. The throng of campaign signs. The sound of stump speeches taking shape. The hundreds who  gathered Wednesday night at the downtown headquarters of the Arent Fox law firm felt the first frisson of the mayoral campaign, having assembled to hear the six leading candidates stake out their messages and answer questions from reporters and audience members about how they’d handle chief executive duties. The Post’s Aaron C. Davis wraps up the proceedings: The candidates, four of them council members, weren’t shy about slamming undecided incumbent Vincent C. Gray, or each other. But while there was general agreement that the city should be more inclusive and affordable, there weren’t a whole lot of specifics on how to achieve that. More from WRC-TV and WAMU-FM.

In other news:

In an unusual clash, U.S. Attorney Ron Machen and Attorney General Irv Nathan spar over investigation-related documents (Post)

Have 15 years and a bunch of hashtags made a difference for Jack Evans’s mayoral chances? (City Paper)

“The Democratic field looks like a drove of hungry jackasses …” (WaTimes)

Mixed grades on HIV/AIDS report card (DofDWAMU-FMDCistWashingtonian)

Ike Leggett backs $11.50 minimum wage in Montgomery County — will Vince Gray follow? (Post)

Is the District’s supermarket tax abatement program being applied fairly? (Housing Complex)

David Catania spars with Gray administration over funding for college-subsidy program (Post)

How Catania was snubbed at last week’s big test score announcement (WRC-TV)

Former charter school director pleads guilty to embezzlement charge (Post)

Taxi drivers raise a ruckus at Taxicab Commission meeting (WAMU-FMDCistWashingtonianCity Desk)

Reagan National Airport taxi fees could be on the rise (Dr. Gridlock)

Total MedStar job casualties reach 300 (WBJ)

Is a “hutong” market in Chinatown’s future? (Capital Business)

Low-wage federal contract workers won’t get shutdown back pay (Post)

Anxiety at UDC over pending cuts (Informer)

Watch me chitchat about the mayoral race (NewsTalk)

Who is Octavia Wells? (Loose Lips)

Bob McCartney remembers “model public servant” Ron Kirby (Post column)

More bad news for LivingSocial: Its Web site was down for two days (PostWBJ)

In the land of development, JBG is king and the rest mere pretenders (WBJ)

To up bargaining leverage, grocery workers authorize strike (Post)

Rare Georgetown bar license becomes available (WBJWTOP)

16-year-old charged in Congress Heights murder (Post)

Christopher Barry gets probation for Virginia drunk-driving, marijuana possession charges (WJLA-TV)

Trial in Marine’s Barracks Row killing gets underway today (Post)

Officers’ union criticizes Capitol Police report on Navy Yard response (AP)

Controversial educator quits high-profile charter applicant (Post)

More scuttlebutt about changes to MPD’s gay liaison unit (Blade)

Is City Year really making a difference in dropouts? (GGW)

New D.C. murals, brought to you by Heineken (GGW)

Ten-bedroom Logan Circle manse, yours for $4.4 million (PoPville)

A brewpub neighbor for the Howard Theater (Young & Hungry)

The 15th Street cycletrack is now in much better shape (WAMU-FM)

Here’s what H Street looks like with streetcar wires (BeyondDC)

The past and present of Georgetown’s historic theaters (G’town Metropolitan)

Cannon’s Fish Market will not reopen (Washingtonian)

Conservative groups says they plan to occupy Lafayette Square until the president resigns (WaTimes)