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Council member Tommy Wells, Ward 6 Democrat, was among them despite questions surrounding a series of money orders that Mr. Orange received in 2011 from the network of donors around Jeffrey Thompson, a prolific political donor whose home and offices were raided by the FBI in March.

“He hasn’t been convicted of anything,” Mr. Wells said after the meeting, noting almost every member of the council has accepted bundled campaign contributions and it was the “wrong time” to support Mr. Brown in light of his past problems.

“But in the end,” he said, I will support the leadership.”

Mr. Wells eventually voted for Mr. Brown on Mr. Mendelson’s ticket after it was clear that Mr. Orange’s bid would not succeed.