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David Catania Will Run for DC Mayor

Catania will run as an independent, potentially giving the District a real general election.
Catania. Photograph by Flickr user Tom Bridge.

Whoever wins the eight-way Democratic primary for DC mayor on April 1 won’t get to kick back until January 2015. David Catania, an at-large member of the DC Council, is officially jumping into the general election as an independent candidate, and will file his candidacy later this week.

Catania, who formed an exploratory committee last December, will give his first public comments as a mayoral candidate this week, said Ben Young, a former Council aide who jumped to the exploratory bid earlier this year. Catania, 45, has been campaigning citywide since he won his first Council election in 1997.

As a legislator, Catania’s portfolio has included oversight of the city’s health services and, since last 2012, public education. While he’s been in the exploratory stage of a mayoral campaign for three months, Catania’s sudden switch into full-time is well-timed with yesterday’s guilty plea by Jeffrey Thompson, the businessman who admitted to financing a $668,800 “shadow campaign” on Mayor Vince Gray’s behalf in 2010 that federalĀ prosecutors say Gray was fully aware of.

A poll taken in January showed that in a hypothetical general election matchup between Gray and Catania, Gray would hold a 43 percent to 40 percent lead. Even if Gray survives the latest accusations about his 2010 campaign and manages to win the April 1 primary, Catania must like his chances even better now.

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Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.