Loose Lips

Vincent Orange for Mayor?

As crowded as the D.C. mayor's race is getting, one at-large councilmember with hopes for the top job has been surprisingly absent: Vincent Orange. For the first time in a while, District voters have been facing the unusual prospect of a citywide election without Orange near the top of the ballot.

Maybe not for long. Wilson Building staffers and councilmembers have exploded over the past two weeks with the theory that Orange is plotting a run for mayor. (A contrarian minority of LL's armchair strategists say he's eyeing the chairman seat now held by Phil Mendelson.)

This might not be as crazy as it sounds. Orange won over labor after leading the ultimately unsuccessful fight for the Large Retailer Accountability Act, then floating a generous hike to the city-wide minimum wage. There's a place in the race for a candidate with more populist credibility than Muriel BowserTommy Wells, or Jack Evans, especially if Vince Gray doesn't run for a second term. Besides, Orange has already won citywide elections twice in the past two years, to win and then keep his at-large seat.

Orange finds it hard to resist District-wide campaigns, even ones with long odds. He started his career in city politics with a failed race for chairman against John Wilson in 1990, going on to run and lose bids for mayor in 2006 and chairman in 2010.

Of course, Orange might not be the ideal candidate, having recently undergone ethics training after a settlement with the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability. His previous campaign has been subpoenaed, along with one of his former campaign donors. Then again, the feds raided the home and office of a guy who allegedly funded an entire separate campaign for Gray, and he may run, too.

Orange declined to comment to LL today about whether he's seeking either office. This isn't the first time he's been surprisingly vague about his plans—see his recent "no comments" on The Rock Newman Show and at Jack Evans' birthday party.

Despite his silence, though, Orange is starting to look like someone running for mayor. At today's D.C. Council meeting, Orange proposed a slate of goodies, including extra economic help for ex-cons and a study to consider the construction of a new stadium, water park, and luxury golf course in the District. (The stadium would seat 100,000 people and feature a dome; the golf course would involve Donald Trump and host PGA Tour events. Why dream small dreams?)

Then there was Orange's cryptic promise, during the Large Retailer Accountability Act debate, that things would be different "if Vincent Orange is in charge." Until recently, who knew that was even an option?

Ballot nomination pick-up starts Friday, with signatures due Jan. 2.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • Typical DC BS

    Orange is the perfect symbol of Dumocratic excess in DC.

  • Miss Lu Lu Hogg

    I will not be voting for this gound hogg.

  • DuhdoYouThinkMaybe

    Can we just put to rest this ridiculous notion that Vince Gray is going to run for anything except perhaps a border. Clearly a deal has been struck whereby Gray agrees not to run and Manchen makes this all go away
    They have turned the top lieutenants of this notorious micro-manager, does anyone still even half believe Gray didn't know what they were up to? These are the waning days of the "Vince Gray this is as good as it is ever going to get tour" and he with his simpleton grin is milking it 'til there ain't no more fatted cow

    Of course Orange is going to run and why not? Crowded field? I think not. Both Bowser and Wells are way under qualified and both have huge damning clouds over their heads. Wells is a drunk and Bowser is a closet case in a
    City where the gay vote is 30% of likely voters. It is going go be tough to sell the idea of going back into the closet particularly for someone with the energy and excitement of a stump.

    That leaves Jack who is clearly qualified but who has, shall we say, failed to launch. The campaign has generated no buzz and articulated no vision except empty platitudes. #Jobs, what does that mean, what jobs, from what, for who? The only time anyone even mentions Evans now is to ask, is he still running, does he even want to be Mayor, or who took down all the vBulletin Evans signs?

    So not only is Vince Orange running but he has a real good chance of winning. He is running a better campaign than the other three combined
    from the sidelines, having no money, and with having even declared.

    The Emancipation Day video was priceless, the fireworks over the Capitol with Orange superimposed over it all was brilliant political theater. The Wilson Building crowd can snigger all they want but Mr. Orange will get a lot of mileage out of that baby, mark my words.

  • Say that again

    @DuhdoYouThinkMaybe. Hmmmm.... Vincent Orange we see you like to post here...

  • SEis4ME

    Talking about a ridiculous conspiracy theory.

    So let me get this straight. The man who has gone after every Gray associate will make a deal w/"the man" to make it all go away if he decides not to run? WOW WOW and TRIPLE WOWSERS!

    All of the investigations are for naught because Machen had no intention on satisfying the vulture's rabid desire to hang Gray from a tree?

    I'm sure you also think Obama's parents sent a wire to the Hawaii newspaper, all the way from Kenya, announcing his birth.

  • DC John

    God help us, one and all, if this guy runs and wins anything other than a one way ticket out of our city!

  • DuhdoYouThinkMaybe


    Yep, it would seem ridiculous if we hadn't seen it before -Marion after getting busted in his car.

    Having a case and proving a case are not the same thing. Manchen could keep this hanging over this old man's head until the sun has set on the sunset years. Either Vinnie can walk or squander his assets on attorney's fees against the Feds.

    Sadly, there are still those who refuse to admit to themselves that they were duped by this corrupt old bureaucrat and his cronies.

  • SEis4ME

    I don't know anything about Barry's bust. But I do know that the city is in no way the same as it was under his leadership. Like, not at ALL.

    Your "having/proving" are rather irrelevant and have nothing to do w/your theory that Machen (illegally I might add) agreed to a deal w/Gray. That was your accusation and the fact you haven't provided any evidence to support it means your just casting aspersions on demand.

    I wholeheartedly support Gray and don't feel as if I had been duped. He's been a rather effective mayor and at the end of the day THAT'S what counts for most of us..while the rest are still focused on what he did to get there. At some point it makes sense to move on and focus on the here and now. If he's guilty, we'll know about it.

    But "hoping" he's guilty and then creating conspiracy theories in advance of finding out he's not guilty is silly.

  • Marvin E. Adams

    RUN VINCE, RUN!...

  • stick2yourguns

    as long as bowser doesn't win who cares!!

  • noodlez


  • DuhdoYouThinkMaybe


    The city is different than it was under Marion granted but Vince Gray deserves none of the credit. I find it kind of sad to watch this rather pathetic, desperate old man go on about this, that, or the other "accomplishment" of his administration and be able to verbatim say, "that wasTony Williams", "that was Adrian", even "that was Barry or that was Pratt-Kelly". None of it is Vince Gray.

    Your comment about "having/proving" being irrelevant is absurd. You clearly know nothing about how law actually works. To hold onto this weak proposition that because Gray has not been charged he is therefore innocent shows just how weak is the case for Gray's innocence.

    Answer this; if Gray knew nothing about Thompson, Hawkins et al's operation how is it he allowed the field budget of the legitimate campaign to be cut to shreds? Why would an incumbent, one who you deign to be so strong and accomplished, dither until the end as to whether or not he is going to run.

    As to any deal being illegal, legality being a laughable concept coming from a Vince Gray partisan, since when is it illegal to wink or to nod?

  • Quantaviana

    *Yawns* He can't win a city wide election for dog catcher.

  • SEis4ME

    Dodo, hunh? That doesn't make sense even in the silliest of seasons. How is it that the city's bond ratings, surplus, management of programs etc. been as good if not for the current mayor? You seriously think that has to do w/a man who was mayor 3 terms ago?

    Do you really think Fenty came in and CREATED an entire gov't from scratch? That he didn't build upon what Williams did? Seriously? Wow! You anti-Gray'rs are no better than the Tea Party.

  • RealDC

    VO for Mayor?? Wow, and he could win against the current field of clowns.

  • John

    Oh hell no

  • SuperD

    Man please earn your keep in one place for a minute.

  • Logan Queen

    Funny that not one of the Gray defenders has answered the two questions asked
    Instead they invoke the Tea Party. I would bet every one of them is a DC guvment lifer or draws on some bogus city contract or connection.
    Gray stole an election so I guess that makes them all Bushites.

  • Blevins

    Still with this silly strawman -

    Do you really think Fenty came in and CREATED an entire gov't from scratch?


  • SEis4ME

    LQueen, I must have missed the two questions..and by whom. I'm not surprised that you would think that I'm a lifetime "guvment" employee or w/some sort of city connection. It's the usual sort of attack on those who have the gall to disagree w/your superior positions.

    Fact: I'm not from DC. Don't speak in "guvment" speech nor receive/have any connection to DC gov't. So despite what you and your fellow critters believe, not all black people in DC who support Gray are under/uneducated, depend on the government, and have little grasp of proper enunciation. Again, that's the stereotype your kind encourages. It is indeed like the 47%rs who believe that "the only people who support Obama are those who depend on the gov't and don't pay taxes." Yeah Queen, Tea Party.

    @Blevins, suggesting that Mayor Gray has done nothing but benefit off of what other mayor's did is not a straw man? Of course you don't think so. Your position is superior. Why wouldn't you think otherwise regardless of how spectacularly dumb it most certainly. Maybe it's time for you to stay in your lane.

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