Councilmember David Catania running for DC mayor - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Councilmember David Catania running for DC mayor

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D.C. Councilmember David Catania D.C. Councilmember David Catania

At-large D.C. councilmember David Catania, once a Republican, is the latest candidate to run for mayor of Washington.

Visiting election headquarters Wednesday morning, Catania has filed paperwork to run as an independent in November's general election.

"I believe that I have the values and the vision and the tenacity to tackle the challenges facing the city," Catania told reporters afterward, "and I have the record of accomplishments that supports it."

For his part, incumbent Mayor Vincent Gray spent the morning at a ceremonial groundbreaking for a new town center. It is called Skyland and has been in the works for 30 years. It is off Naylor Road in Southeast D.C.

“And for those of you who don't know," Gray told a gathering on the site, "I don't use the term ‘East of the River’ anymore. I will say ‘East End.’ And the reason is because as soon as you say 'East of the River,' people in that little voice in their head goes 'other side of the tracks.' Well, I live over here and I don't live on the other side of the tracks. I live in a vibrant, wonderful neighborhood and I've lived here for about 30 years."

At the groundbreaking, we found Kwame Brown. In 2011, he succeeded Gray as city council chairman, but was forced to resign a year later after pleading guilty to bank fraud and campaign finance violations.

"I'm blessed. I'm very, very blessed," Brown tells FOX 5 News. "God has been very good to me."

When asked what he thinks about the investigation surrounding Gray's 2010 campaign for mayor, Brown declined to answer.

"I'm not talking about any current situation,” he said. “I'm here to celebrate Skyland Shopping Center."

But freshly minted candidate Catania wasn't holding back.

"I made my feelings known about the mayor's shadow campaign once it was first disclosed nearly two years ago,” he said. “I said he should have resigned then and I believe that today."

In his State of the District speech in Ward 7 Tuesday night, Gray said he has done nothing wrong.

"I say this to all of you, clearly and unequivocally, I didn't break the law,” Gray said.

He got a standing ovation from his mostly friendly audience.

And again Wednesday, Gray said he is not afraid of the federal investigation that he insists will clear the clouds of suspicion swirling around him.

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