A defiant Vincent Gray launched his reelection campaign for Washington mayor over the weekend.
“We want to put the past where it belongs — in the past,” said Gray, 71, who has been dogged by legal woes and ethical challenges stemming from his last campaign, causing many to doubt if he would seek a second term.
“There were some days where I wasn’t sure where to turn myself, but I knew I wasn’t going to turn and run,” he said at a party for supporters at the home of city Commissioner Judith Terra Saturday night. He got more than needed for a petition to be on the ballot, he said.
“There were some predicting we wouldn’t get our 2,000 signatures, ” Gray said. “We got 8, 200 signatures.”
Gray took credit for what he sees as the city’s progress.
“Have you noticed any development going on in the city?” the mayor asked. “I’ve got some of the candidates telling me to stop talking about cranes, and I said, ‘What the hell are you talking about? Let’s keep talking about the cranes.’”
The crowd sang “Happy Days are Here Again, ” Franklin Roosevelt’s 1932 campaign song.
“That was when FDR ran Herbert Hoover out of town,” Gray reminded his guests.
Gray faces a number of primary challengers, including several City Council members, on April 1.
“I grew up in this city,” he said. “I grew up in a tough neighborhood. For those who want to get in it after April 1, bring it on.”