Mayor Vincent Gray to launch re-election bid Jan. 11

WASHINGTON (AP) - District of Columbia mayor Vincent Gray will launch his re-election bid at an arts and recreation center in southeast Washington.

The campaign launch on Saturday, Jan. 11 will allow the Democratic mayor to talk about his efforts to revitalize communities east of the Anacostia River, where he lives. Gray won by huge margins east of the river in his 2010 victory over then-mayor Adrian Fenty.

The event will be held at the Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus, known as THEARC. The facility has also hosted appearances by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

THEARC hosts arts, recreation, educational and social service programs. It opened in 2005. It was founded by developer Chris Smith, a friend of the mayor.

Gray is facing off against numerous members of the D.C. Council in his effort to win a second term.