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Gray: I wouldn't campaign for or against Rhee, Lanier

D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray, a possible challenger to Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D), said he would not campaign on a platform that includes either replacing or retaining schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee or Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier if he runs for mayor this year.

In an interview with the Washington Post last week, Gray (D) said if he runs he will tell voters he will decide Rhee and Lanier's fate during his transition should he be elected.

"At this stage of the game, I would not say I would automatically keep or not keep anybody because I think it's a function of the quality of the job and whether there is a chemistry there that both of us would need to make it work," Gray said. "I think that would have to just be determined during the transition period."

In recent months, Gray has sparred with Rhee over budget projections and her management style. Gray has been more complimentary of Lanier. He noted Lanier, who oversaw a 25 percent reduction in homicides this year, is very popular. But Gray noted that homicides are down in nationwide, including in New York and neighboring Prince George's County.

"I just don't know precisely why," Gray said. "What are we doing differently and what is Prince George's doing differently."

Gray also noted that Rhee and Lanier could choose to leave voluntarily if he were to become mayor.

"Having been on the other side of this, three or four years in these jobs is really a long time - the wear and tear and stress on a person," Gray said. "So a third factor is not just they are doing a good job or whether the chemistry is right, it's whether someone in a current job wants to do something else, which is a perfectly legitimate situation for me."

--Tim Craig

By Anne Bartlett  |  January 11, 2010; 11:47 AM ET
Categories:  Crime and Public Safety , D.C. Council , Education , Mayor Fenty , Tim Craig  
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Next: Moving Day for D.C. School News

Comments

Sounds like an announcement to me.

Side bar!!!!! No Evans for council chair!

Posted by: candycane1 | January 11, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Well said, Chairman Gray - it sounds like just the right approach for getting started on your campaign.

Posted by: efavorite | January 11, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Well said?? Sounded like a bunch of nothing to me. Leaders lead. Get off the fence.

Posted by: Art17 | January 12, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

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