Loose Lips

Gray Campaign Manager: “The Race Is On”

It's taken Vince Gray months and months to decide whether to run for re-election. But it only took seconds for Chuck Thies—local political consultant, commentator, and prolific Twitter provocateur—to decide whether he would manage the campaign.

"I told him that I am a soldier in his army," says Thies, who learned of Gray's plans yesterday.

As for the still-ongoing investigation into Gray's 2010 campaign, Thies, who was in the running to manage that campaign as well, reiterated Gray's position that the mayor did nothing wrong. Still, Thies says he'll make sure that whatever campaign staff is brought on—Thies says he doesn't know yet who the campaign chairperson and treasurer will be—will be well-versed in Hatch Act rules about separating governing from campaigning. "We understand that this will be a highly scrutinized campaign," says Thies.

Despite working for Gray, Thies offered some unsolicited advice for the mayor's many rivals. LL's sincerely not sure how to take it, but here goes. "Campaigns are about the future, they're not about the past," Thies says. "This  campaign is about the future."

While Gray said in an email to supporters today that his formal launch wouldn't come until January, Thies says he'll be busy this month building the campaign's infrastructure and gathering the required 2,000 signatures due by Jan. 2. "Not a bad place to be—the best campaign manager and the best candidate in town," Thies says.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • WhoCares

    This is the same guy who wouldn't stand up against Wal-Mart for better wages. He thinks he can just let Wal-Mart treat the citizens of Ward 7 & 8 wrong and tout the fact that he brought that store over to Southeast?

    I will NOT be voting for Gray!

    He hasn't done anything for east of the river except run illegal campaigns.

  • truth hurts

    Of course Thies wants Gray to talk only about the future. Gray's past is filled with felon bff's like Harry Thomas, Bruce Bereano, Kwame Brown, Thomas Gore, Jeanne Harris, Vernon Hawkins, Michael Brown, Doug Jemal, and many more. Thies is perfect for Gray. Believes in Graham, endorsed Mara ... geesh. Guaranteed he'll ditch Gray's last fake campaign mantra. Was it Leadership. Integrity. Accountability.? Some such bullshit.

    This time the slogan should be Corruption. Graft. Fraud. Just sayin

  • Wrack

    Let me get this straight. Mayor who git into office by opposing the darling of the millenials and affluent DC, who is still under investigation for corrupt campaigning, who vetoed a living wage for large retailers AND opposes a reasonable minimum wage across the city, who couldn't follow through on his soccer stadium or streetcar promises, wants to get reelected? Hmm.

    Hmm.

  • Wardforever

    Gray can't win. Fenty beat Fenty.

    Gray had an army of volunteers in 2010. They're gone.

    Chick Thies is the same guy who ran Scott Bolden's disastrous campaign against Phil Mendelson. Bolden lost all 8 wards, even though Bolden and Thies ran an overly racist campaign.

    I can't wait to hear Gray answer questions about his 2010 campaign. "My attorney has advised me not to discuss that issue."

  • noodlez

    "THE MAN WITH THE INSIGHT ENOUGH TO ADMIT HIS LIMITATIONS COMES NEAREST TO PERFECTION."-JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE

    "DON'T HATE APPRECIATE."-TERMINUS DE LA HOODDIDUS

  • truth hurts

    "I am not a crook." Richard Nixon.

  • Green Eyeshade

    @WhoCares you beat me to it. My whole attitude about anything Chuck Thies does or says is "I don't care." At least this way Comcast can stop wasting their money on a total stooge pretending to be a political wise person.

    Oh, wait ....

  • Ward One Resident

    Well, with Theis hired as Gray's official henchman, that certainly means that if Graham runs, he won't have Theis around to make things nasty. Not that Graham can't do that on his own of course.

  • Ward3dem

    Out of all of the people on the planet who could run a mayoral campaign why choose chuck "slimebag" thies? This choice is quite troubling. I met this unsavory character once when he was attempting to convince me to vote for another person of dubious character, patrick mara. He incorrectly assumed that because I am an older white woman I would partake in racist banter with him. I was horrified to say the least. His reference to "those people across the river not knowing how to behave like human beings" has stuck in my mind ever since then. I pray that this is his last political campaign because he is not the sort of person we need helping to choose the leaders of our city.

  • Feedup

    I will not be voting for Vince Gray, he needs to answer questions about his campaign. He lied to alot of the citizens and he is deceitful.

  • SEis4ME

    Well the shots have been fired.

    A crowded field will now do more to help Gray than hurt him. The only person who can reasonably stand up Vince Gray is the one who can supplement their total loss of black votes for nonblack ones.

    - Evans will be able to get those white voters who were either on the fence w/Gray but uncomfortable w/Wells
    - Wells' base (Smart Growthers) have turned off enough district voters that they'll help him lose and not be able to make up for his lack of black votes.
    - Bowser is officially a lost cause. She finishes 4th
    - Lewis is not even an afterthought. Lewis finishes last AFTER Vincent Orange.

  • Ward4

    Wow, so this is Gray's pick to help bring white Washingtonians into the fold? Proves he knows nothing about White People. I see Chuck is getting a check though. They are both 2 pigs in slop.

  • tony

    Why in the fuck did he pick CHUCK THIES!

  • stick2yourguns

    Jack Evans for Mayor

  • @Tony

    "Why in the fuck did he pick CHUCK THIES!"

    Because his last election-eering team is all either in the clink, on their way there or licking their wounds, and Thies is the only guy left in the city who would touch Gray's campaign with a 10 foot pole. But then, Chuck is just in it for the money...

  • DCShadyBoots

    City is moving forward faster than most in the nation. I think the Mayor has done a great job managing the city and keeping the momentum going. He has my vote.

  • noodlez

    @TONY-HE PICKED THAT BAMMA BECAUSE ALL HE NEED IS A GAME MANAGER. YOU KNOW SOMEONE THAT WILL NOT LOSE HIM THE RACE. HOPEFULLY HE WILL BE MORE LIKE MARK BRUNELL AND LESS LIKE REX GROSSMAN!

    PLUS HE PROVIDES THE COMPLEXION FOR THE PROTECTION & THE CONNECTION!

    I'M OAKY WIT IT AS LONG AS HE GETS ONE MORE VOTE THAN THE 2ND RUNNER UP!

    ONE CITY.

  • Catfish

    This Mayor works 90 hours a week, is constantly out in the community, has the intellect to grasp complicated urban issues, loves his city, has moved the needle on unemployment, fiscal stability, affordable housing, school reform and public safety. He deserves re-election even with the understandable unhappiness about the last campaign.

  • tony

    @Noodlez,

    There are tons of black professionals in this town who can run circles around Chuck Thies. WHY NOT GIVE THEM A CHANCE?

    I mean these are well educated black folks like yourself and others who could run the Mayor's campaign just as effectively as anyone else. The hard reality is that white voters are not supporting this Mayor in any significant numbers whether he has Chuck Thies or not.

    Again, its just another example of Mayor Gray thumbing his nose at the very same people he wants to support him.

    I have had enough of it!

  • EthicalInquiry

    What are two things that Jim Graham, Pat Mara, and Vince Gray have in common?

    1. Allegations of corruption.
    2. Chuck Thies as a vocal supporter.

  • noodlez

    @TONY-I FEEL YA ON YOUR 1ST POINT BUT OUR PEOPLE HE PUT IN PLACE FUCKED HIM!

    JOE PESCI FAMOUSLY SAID (IN ONE OF THOSE LETHAL WEAPONS MOVIE) “THEY FUCK YOU IN THE DRIVE THRU” THE LAST ELECTION WAS A DRIVE THRU ELECTION FOR MAYOR GRAY AND HIS OWN PEOPLE FUCKED HIM BY FILLING HIS BAG WITH THE WRONG SHIT.

    I FIRMLY BELIEVE BECAUSE OF THE SWIRLING ALLEGATIONS THE PAST THREE YEARS IT DID NOT ALLOW HIM TO FOCUS ON THOSE FOLK THAT NEED HIM THE MOST. HE HAD TO FOCUS & HOBKNOB WITH THOSE FOLK THAT COULD BACK HIM WITH CAPITAL, PRINCIPAL AND INFLUENCE SO THAT HE CAN HELP HIS HOME AND ADJACENT WARDS NEXT GO ROUND.

    AS A YOUTH SPORTS COACH I HAVE LEARNED OVER THE YEARS TO RECOGNIZE WHEN THINGS ARE GOING BAD TO HAVE TO RESORT BACK TO FUNDAMENTALS IN ORDER TO STAY IN THE GAME TO HAVE A CHANCE AT WINNING. MAYOR GRAY CAME OUT THE GATE STUMBLING AND FUMBLING SO HE HAD TO FALL BACK ON THE POLITICAL GAME HE KNOWS IN ORDER WIN A 2ND TERM.

    MAYOR GRAY HAS TO GET REELECTED IN ORDER FOR ONE OF THE YOUNG GUNS TO GET THEIR BONAFIDES SOLIDIFIED BE IT MCDUFFIE (W5) OR THOMPSON (W6). BOWSER NEEDS TO GET HER SHIT & WARD 4 IN ORDER AND DROP ALL THOSE FLENTY FAGGIES STILL HANGING ON BEFORE SHE CAN MAKE A LEGIT STAND. TRUTH BE TOLD ANYONE OF THOSE OTHER CANDIDATES WIN THE SEAT THEN WARD’S 7 & 8 WILL NOT EVEN MAINTAIN A STATUS QUO.

    YO CHAMP I THINK HE IS THUMBING MORE OUT OF NEED THAN WANT. ALSO WE CAN NOT ALLOW JOKERS LIKE WELLS, EVANS OR ORANGE THE CHANCE TO GET THEIR HANDS ON THE WHEEL OR IT IS CURTAINS FOR D.C. AS WE KNOW IT.

  • tony

    Noodlez,

    I hear you. Believe me, I hear you.

    What you are talking about is political gamesmanship. But this can be very dangerous for his core supporters. WHY?

    Because, political gamesmanship requires a shift in public policy. And it’s the shift in public policy that could adversely affect that people who can least afford it. This is what you are seeing now with this Mayor.

    For Example: the mayor is backing school reform measures by his chancellor that essentially will treat black students in traditional schools as expendable pawns. The school chancellor is actually floating the idea of restricting students from certain zip codes from attending well do schools across the city. She is also floating proposals to dismantle traditional middle schools and incorporate those students into charter schools. Again, a swift in public policy that will appease some and destroy others.

    So I while understand that the Mayor must be a little more politically flexible given the political environment, it simply can’t not be at the expense of those who can least afford it.

  • Rob

    @noodlez
    Your comments and opinions are always on target and the truth, but most of all they are entertaining. I find myself many times reading the oft-times slanted Citypaper articles just for your comments which many times provide a perspective unique to the real residents of our city. Thank you.

  • SpeakUp

    Mayor Gray using the excuse that he knew absolutely NOTHING about the shadow campaign sounds like something he would say when people ask him why EOTR is still in the same condition or that he doesn't look out for the black population "I didn't know EOTR was in bad shape, I didnt know that I wasn't working hard for citizens EOTR" that guy has a short memory. Hopefully Machen can help him refresh it.

  • StrangeFruit

    In 2012 Chuck Thies told Fox News that Mayor Gray was running the city via old-school crony politics.

    Why in the hell would mayor Gray hire this man who uses code words such "old-school" to equate Mayor Gray to Marion Barry?

    Gray is doomed!

  • Pingback: blue ofica

...