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Orange is in race for D.C. council chairman

Former D.C. Council member Vincent Orange, surrounded by supporters, announces on Wednesday his candidacy to succeed mayoral candidate Vincent Gray as chairman. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)

The sprint to the District's September primary is underway. Surrounded by about a dozen supporters and campaign workers who chanted his name, former D.C. Council member Vincent Orange Wednesday morning previewed his message for the council's top job.

Orange, who officially declared his candidacy at the Board of Elections, said Chairman Vincent C. Gray's decision to run for mayor has created a leadership void and that he has the experience to fill it.

Orange also questioned how his Democratic rival, at-large council member Kwame R. Brown, would be able to work with Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D), with whom he has clashed.

"You can't govern if you can't talk to the mayor," Orange said.

But Brown said Tuesday in an interview that his differences with the administration have been primarily philosophical on the subject of economic development and that he would be able to work with whoever is elected mayor.

Orange was joined by his campaign chairman, former council member Kevin Chavous, and by his chief fundraiser, George Lowe, who has also raised money for Fenty. Orange, who served two terms on the council as the Ward 5 member, said he would need to collect about $500,000 to run a citywide campaign.

-- Ann E. Marimow

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By Ann E. Marimow  |  May 12, 2010; 12:48 PM ET
Categories:  2010 District Election , Ann E. Marimow , D.C. Council , Vincent C. Gray  | Tags: Adrian Fenty, District of Columbia Council, Kwame R. Brown, Vincent C. Gray  
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