WASHINGTON (AP) - Conventional wisdom dictates that David Catania is an underdog in the race for mayor of Washington. He is white, a former Republican and openly gay in a city that has only elected African-American Democrats to its top local office.

But Catania doesn't see it that way. He says he's never considered himself an underdog, including in the matchup with Democratic mayoral nominee Muriel Bowser. In an interview Wednesday with Associated Press reporters and editors, he said that if he works hard to communicate his message, "I know I'll win."

Catania says he doesn't expect his sexual orientation to be much of a factor among voters. But he acknowledges that a gay mayor in the nation's capital would be an important symbol as people continue to fight discrimination.