After some candidates jumped in and others dropped out (or changed party affiliation), Baltimore’s cast of characters for the 2016 election has been locked into place, setting the stage for something the city hasn’t had in years – some fresh faces.
In the days leading up to last night’s filing deadline for the April 26 Democratic Party primary, community organizer Joshua Harris withdrew as a Democratic candidate for mayor and refiled as a Green Party candidate for the November general election.
Jumping into the 12th District councilmanic race, Old Goucher Community Association President Kelly Cross made it official on Friday.
And in a move that perhaps symbolized just how different a year this could be for incumbent-laden City Hall, community activist Kim Trueheart ended her deliberations and filed for City Council President, Baltimore’s second highest elected post.
“I wrapped up the pennies in my cookie jar and had just enough to file,” Trueheart said on Twitter, posting a photo of the cash she laid down at the Election Board yesterday.
A dogged follower of local government and outspoken mayoral critic, Trueheart is the kind of gadfly who will periodically declare “Foul” at a Board of Estimates action, interrupting the proceedings and prompting a rebuke.
The person typically shushing her is BOE and City Council President, Bernard C. “Jack” Young, the very man she is challenging.
In 2013, Trueheart was briefly banned from City Hall and removed from the building in handcuffs. All charges were dropped amid questions about the legality of the police actions, including her ban from the building.
Mayoral Candidates and More
With every elected city post in the April 26 primary this year – and with six of 14 City Council incumbents declining to run – the precise line-up of candidates is big news.
But the filing deadline story was overshadowed yesterday by the surprise entrance of Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson into the mayor’s race.
Mckesson joined an already crowded field of 12 Democratic primary candidates.
The five candidates who have filed to run in the Republican Party primary are Armand F. Girard, Chancellor Torbit, Brian Charles Vaeth, Alan Walden and Larry O. Wardlow, Jr.
Running as Green Party candidates in the November 8 general election are Harris, David Marriott and Emanuel McCray. Independents running in the general are Frank “Francisco” Logan and Collins Otonna.
Unaffiliated candidates, who also run only in the general election, are Nicholas Jonathan Caminiti, Chukwuemeka Egwu, LaVern AW Murray, Andre Powell and Sarah Klauda.
Plenty of Council Openings
Other races to watch in this year will be candidates vying to unseat veteran Comptroller Joan M. Pratt – Democrats Mike King and Valerie L. Cunningham.
Public defender and legal reform advocate Todd H. Oppenheim is taking on taking on a slate of six sitting judges in Baltimore Circuit Court.
Among the many lively match-ups ahead in the City Council:
• Shannon Sneed’s East Side re-match with 13th District incumbent Warren Branch. He beat her by 43 votes last time around.
• John Bullock’s attempt on the West Side to end the Welch family dynasty by unseating 9th District Councilman William “Pete” Welch.
• Multiple candidates to succeed 3rd District Councilman Robert W. Curran, who will be ending the Curran family reign of Northeast Baltimore that stretches back to the 1950s due to health reasons.
• There are four other open Council races – in the 1st, 5th, 7th and 8th districts – to replace departing James B. Kraft, Rochelle “Rikki” Spector, Nick Mosby and Helen L. Holton.