DC Mayor Vince Gray will formally kick off his re-election campaign Saturday, January 11 at the Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus (THEARC) in Southeast.
Gray’s speech will come many months after the campaign kickoff events held by his rivals in the 2014 mayoral race, including Council members Jack Evans, Muriel Bowser, and Tommy Wells, as well as Busboys and Poets owner Andy Shallal. With the Democratic primary scheduled for April 1, Gray will have about three-and-a-half months to catch up in fundraising and campaign visibility.
In picking Ward 8 to launch his re-election bid, Gray, who likes to tout the building boom largely centered in Northwest DC, will attempt to reach voters who live in parts of DC that have not enjoyed the same economic growth. THEARC offers educational and cultural programming to people who live in low-income neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River.
But as Gray begins to openly campaign for another term, the good economic news might be running down. Figures released this week by the the office of DC Chief Financial Officer Natwar Gandhi show that unemployment is on the rise.
Gray will also have to continue facing questions about his 2010 campaign, which is still under investigation by federal proseuctors amid allegations that his election was helped out by $653,000 in unreported contributions. In his first press conference since he announced his plans to seek another term, Gray evaded repeated questions about the investigation.