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That’s why it’s more than refreshing to see non-D.C. natives Reta Jo Lewis, who worked in the Clinton and Obama administrations, and Andy Shallal, a restaurateur and civic leader, in the running.

Their visions of Washington, like that of former Mayor Anthony A. Williams, represent a change of outlook and a change of pace — changes that encourage, perhaps even force, voters and other stakeholders to look and think outside the box labeled “status quo.”

For certain, Mr. Gray is boxed in.

He has no signature policy.

People he has known, trusted and been closely associated with for years are either facing legal troubles or are encased, as Mr. Gray himself is, in the legal dust-ups that began during the 2010 mayor’s race.

Indeed, like Pig-Pen, friend of woe-is-me Charlie Brown, Mr. Gray’s campaign machine is surrounded by grime and the mayor can’t seem to shake it loose.

Just this Wednesday, The Washington Post reported on the ongoing federal probe that stems from the 2010 mayoral campaign. At issue is scoffing from D.C. Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan who has been asked to turn over city emails and documents — as if he’s the mayor’s private attorney.

U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr., who in the very beginning warned everyone within earshot and glance of an eye that he was going to follow the money wherever it led, sent up another red flag in The Post.

D.C. residents “would be best served by a comprehensive and unfettered investigation that resolves any doubts about criminal wrongdoing by elected officials or others,” the Machen statement said.

Mr. Gray has little wiggle room, as the primary is set for April.

Either he is running or he’s not.

He’s know what he’s up against: No signature policy to speak of, a federal investigation tied to a “shadow campaign” in 2010 and Democratic brethren who long have scavenged alongside hizzoner.

If Mr. Gray won’t be honest with D.C. voters and stakeholders, then he should at least be honest with himself.

There are no anti-Fenty insurgents this time around.

Mr. Gray should find himself and tend to it — quickly.

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