Andy Shallal, Muriel Bowser, Jack Evans, Carlos Allen, and the man they seek to unseat, Mayor Vincent C. Gray. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

In the Democratic primary race for D.C. mayor, the real competition is this: Who can emerge from the pack as the most foremost challenger to incumbent Vincent C. Gray? The recent Washington Post poll may show Gray with a commanding advantage over his seven competitors, but three-fourths of Democratic voters surveyed preferred another candidate. Fortunately for Gray, about half of those voters split evenly between Muriel Bowser, Jack Evans and Tommy Wells, with most of the rest preferring no one at all. So now the challenge for the challengers is to make themselves into the inevitable candidate. It was a good weekend on that front for Bowser, who managed to outdo Gray in the Ward 8 straw poll Saturday, leading her to boast in a campaign e-mail that “there is only one person with the vision and plan” to lead the city.

In other news:

Meet Ronald C. Machen Jr. and Vincent H. Cohen Jr.: The Batman and Robin of D.C. political corruption (Post Magazine)

In Bloomingdale, fifteen years of gentrification come into view (Post)

Neil Rodgers, former top aide to Harry Thomas Jr., is indicted by federal grand jury on theft, fraud charges (PostLoose LipsWashingtonian)

88-year-old Georgetown man is stabbed to death; mentally ill son is suspected (PostAP)

Proposal to make Dunbar High application-only stirs debate about “cream-skimming” (Post)

Remembering Dunbar’s pre-desegregation glory days (Post review)

Gray tells neighbors concerned about rail tunnel project there’s “no way that we are going to allow people’s safety and security concerns to be compromised” (PostCity DeskDCistWJLA-TVThinkProgress)

Congress continues to short DHS consolidation funding, driven by Republican spending concerns (Post)

Gray, Bowser lead inaugural mayoral primary power rankings (Loose Lips)

Rich folks pony up for Hizzoner (Loose Lips)

Tommy Wells is the man who would be mayor of PoPville (PoPville)

Today: MLK Parade in Congress Heights, no street parking enforcement (WRC-TV)

New D.C. jail clinic should help keep cops on the street, not guarding ailing inmates (WRC-TV)

Adam Kokesh, arrested and held for videotaped shotgun-racking, is a free man (PostCity Desk)

Kenneth Ellerbe says he’s “disappointed” with firefighter arrests (WTTG-TV)

Filomena blames Obamacare for discontinued lunch buffet (PoPville)

Federal spending bill includes provision imposing permanent federal oversight on MWAA (Dr. Gridlock)

Spring Valley homeowner rents apartment to house children during weapons excavation (Washingtonian)

Let the Mall be the Mall (Post op-ed)

Forest Hills sidewalk illustrates Gordian knot of bureaucracy (Forest Hill Connection)

Taxi Commission is accepting new limo applications (DCist)

Kevin L. James, 48, is shot to death Thursday in Petworth (Post)

Infant’s September death is ruled a homicide; mother is suspected (PostAP)

Pedestrian struck by garbage truck downtown dies (AP)

Inside the latest regional transportation plan (Dr. Gridlock)

Intelsat headquarters a historic landmark? (WBJ)

Nine of 37 new D.C. cops are “noble” reserve officers (AP)
“Operational skill set” sought in next LivingSocial CEO (Capital Business)

Fort Lincoln: Homes on a hill (Post)

Is National Zoo’s preference for FONZ members “elitism”? (Post letter)

Streetcar will start acting like a streetcar this week (WashingtonianDCist)

H Street NE church sells its building, moves to Prince George’s (Housing Complex)

Time for open primaries in D.C.? (Post letter)

Charter school advocate: Franklin School should be a charter school (Post letter)

HVAC unit drops from downtown construction site, crushes truck (WRC-TV)

How Marion Barry’s arrest, 24 years ago, made a Post photographer’s career (NPR)

The secret to Racing President success: “A lot of jazz hands” (PostPost gallery)

BAO BAO! (Post)