WASHINGTON DC (WUSA) -- D.C. City Council chairman Vincent Gray will file Tuesday to run for Mayor of the District. It sets up a primary challenge against incumbent Mayor Adrian Fenty.
The move sets the stage for a five-month battle for the Democratic nomination for mayor. In such a heavily Democratic city, the primary is often the de facto election for mayor.
The announcement comes as no surprise to most District political insiders. Mayor Fenty and Chairman Gray have been at odds for most of the past four years. They have fought over issues like teacher firings, the city budget, and even baseball tickets.
RE-ELECTION BID: Fenty launches 2010 campaign website
A recent Washington Post poll showed Gray narrowly beating Fenty in a hypothetical matchup. Fenty has been hit hard in recent months for what his critics call his arrogant personality. The mayor has also come under fire for doling out contracts to his friends and supporters.
However, when viewed in terms of campaign finance, the mayor has a large lead. Fenty has already banked about $4 million for his re-election campaign. That will pose a challenge for Gray, who has no money in his campaign account.
The two may also face a challenge from millionaire developer R. Don Peebles. He told the Washington City Paper, "My inclination is to run." Peebles adds, "I will be a very competitive candidate and I will win." Peebles has not officially filed to become a candidate. He is expected to do so within two weeks.
DECEMBER 2009: Bruce Johnson sits down with R. Don Peebles to talk politics
Earlier in the year, Peebles said he would not become a candidate, but has apparently changed his mind.
Other declared candidates in the race include former television reporter Leo Alexander, former "Hush Society Magazine" CEO Carlos Allen, former Fenty campaign volunteer Sulamon Brown, activist Faith Dane, reality firm owner Ernest Johnson, Dennis Sobin, Patrick Tayman, and Lyndon Walker.
Written by Kristin Fisher & Dan Guzman
9NEWS NOW & wusa9.com