Vincent Gray files paperwork to run for reelection at the D.C. Board of Elections on Dec. 2 (Cliff Owen/AP)

So Vincent Gray is once again a mayoral candidate, and despite well over two years of unflattering headlines, he starts the Democratic primary race in pole position. Here’s why: Gray starts out with a political base remaining from his 2010 run, and is competing against possibly 11 challengers — including four D.C. Council members with decent bases of their own. And a flourishing city economy should hold down throw-the-bums-out discontent that could hurt the incumbent. Gray’s campaign team believes he has the opportunity to expand his support, too, but that may depend on to what extent Gray will be willing to address the 2010 campaign shenanigans. “Forgiveness and redemption is a powerful feeling, and everyone is entitled to it,” says campaign manager Chuck Thies. “But to get it, you have to ask.”

In other news:

Colby King: “Gray sat at the helm of a campaign team willing to cheat to win. And instead of taking responsibility for the things his team did, he now wants to say nothing about it.” (Post column)

Mark Plotkin: “Vince Gray should not be underestimated — but neither should the challenge before him” (Post op-ed)

“The changing nature of the city requires strong, committed leadership” (Post editorial)

Lightly attended forum offers a look at the lesser-known candidates (DCistLoose Lips)

A new D.C. election news blog (

Cathy Lanier on 7D misconduct: “One action like this tarnishes us all” (PostAPWTOPWTTG-TVWUSA-TV)

How Wal-Mart’s Chicago incursion set the stage for D.C. (Capital Business)

Vince Gray compares D.C. voting status to apartheid (PostWAMU-FM)

Umm, no (Answer Sheet)

Jos Williams and Eleanor Holmes Norton remember Nelson Mandela (WRC-TV)

Mandela tributes will culminate in National Cathedral memorial service Wednesday (Post)

Norton will travel with congressional delegation to funeral (WAMU-FM)

Prosecutors run afoul of Superior Court judge by checking backgrounds of mostly black jurors (Post)

Vincent Orange: “Nothing has come” of federal investigation (Loose Lips)

D.C. Health Link has hiccups as Capitol Hill denizens sign up for coverage (PostPost)

Many reasons why Kaya Henderson probably isn’t heading to New York (Answer Sheet)

Metro needs money from local governments now for upgrades to come (Dr. Gridlock)

Why, contra D.C. Council bill, only citizens should be able to vote (Post editorial)

Darrel Thompson, from baseball star to Hill aide to Ward 6 council candidate (Hill Rag)

New allegations of sexual assaults by Wilson pool employee (WRC-TV)

Men are shot to death one block from Dunbar High, a few blocks from the Georgia Avenue Wal-Mart (PostPost)

Georgia contractor is indicted for dumping waste into Hains Point storm drains (Post)

Picking Washington’s ugliest buildings (WBJ)

Who got the better deal: Don Graham or Oliver Carr III? (Capital Business)

Ben’s Chili Bowl seems to have smoothed things over after preservation dustup (Hill Rag)

Preservationists may seek to protect interior of Riggs Bank headquarters (Capital Business)

United Medical Center is poised to make deal with nursing operator (WBJ)

Walter Reed campus will host language-immersion charter school (GGW)

What’s the best way to preserve affordable housing funds? (Housing Complex)

Peace House goes to landlord-tenant court (City Desk)

One law firm’s downtown relocation calculus (Capital Business)

Mentors Inc.: Another D.C. charity worth your holiday support (Post)

How the Redskins play media favorites (Post)

Learn about the old Aqueduct Bridge (Post column)

Jimmy Kimmel has an ideal mayoral candidate (Loose Lips)

H.D. Woodson is your D.C. high-school football champion supreme (Post)