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WASHINGTON, DC, (WUSA9) -- Independent D.C. Councilman David Catania just filed papers to run for Mayor.

The At Large Councilman insists the timing has nothing to do with the Vince Gray's troubles. But he did blast the incumbent, saying it's time for the Vince Gray--Jeff Thompson drama to end.

The District has never before elected a non-Democrat as Mayor, but Catania thinks this is the year he will break the pattern.

"What is your path to victory?" I asked him. "Does the Mayor have to win the primary?" "Not at all," he responded. "I'm going to be just as clear as I can be. I've won more citywide races than everyone else in the race combined. I've won five times citywide. I've represented every corner of the city."

Catania is already out with a web ad touting his record, especially on issues like heath care and education for residents east of the River.

Gray's campaign manager, Chuck Thies, says "Catania's latest politician who think he can become mayor on the coattails of a smear campaign."

Catania's convinced D.C. businessman and now convicted felon Jeff Thompson funded a shadow campaign for Mayor Gray in exchange for a multi-million dollar settlement for Thompson's Chartered Health Plan. "Do I believe the mayor knew it and participated? And do I believe the city actually paid the shadow campaign the money back?" Catania asked rhetorically. "Yes I believe that."

Catania won his council seat as a Republican, but left the party years later, angry about it's position on same sex marriage. "I think my record embodies Democratic values more than the field currently running as Democrats."

Whoever wins the April 1 Democratic primary will now face David Catania in the November 4 general election.

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