Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Race Is On...

With Mayor O'Malley heading to Annapolis after a big win on Tuesday, the race for his replacement in City Hall is already beginning to take shape.

There are over a dozen possible contenders, ranging from current City Council members to former candidates who have been out of the spotlights for years. Despite the crowded field, The League stands ready to make a bold prediction one year out from the election: the Democratic nominee will win.

The Sun has a comprehensive article on the outlook for the contest, dropping names of all the possible contenders: Sheila Dixon, Joan M. Pratt, Keiffer J. Mitchell Jr., Kenneth N. Harris Sr., John Pica Jr., Jill P. Carter, Patricia C. Jessamy, Kweisi Mfume, Brian D. Morris, Andrey Bundley, Frank M. Conaway, and our current council member Mary Pat Clarke.

Better get these memorized. And don't even think about screwing up the ever-so-important middle initials! (As if there is a councilmember named Kenneth P. Harris, Jr... psh)

Every one of these possibilities are Democrats, all but two are black and most are women, reflective of the population of our city.

Dixon is considered the frontrunner at this point because, as the current City Council President, she will serve the remainder of O'Malley's term through December 2007. She could use the power of the bully pulpit and the purse to make nice with the voters of Baltimore. The incumbency factor may hurt, however, if she takes too long to get her footing in the new office. And there is the pesky little issue of an ongoing corruption investigation into allegations of nepotism and inproperly awarding contracts to cronies.

The biggest challenge to Dixon could come from none other than Kweisi Mfume. Mfume served this city admirably during five terms in the United States Congress and the American people as head of the American Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He garnered statewide name recognition earlier this year as a candidate for the Democrat's nomination for US Senate. Mfume is a smart, sophisticated guy who cares about Baltimore. We'd be lucky to have him.

Pratt, the current comptroller, and Jessamy, state's attorney who just won reelection, are also strong contenders. Both are strong personalities already elected to statewide office. Jessamy has made a name for herself with repeated clashes between O'Malley and the Police Department over an atrocious arrest policy that has thrown tens of thousands of Baltimoreans into jail.

Del. Jill Carter, who represents Northwest in the House, also made a name for herself by fighting the illegal arrests. That makes her one of The League's favorites. We're a little worried, however, that she may be on the crazy side. Carter refused to disclose her age for The Sun article. That wouldn't have raised our collection eyebrow had she not seemed looney before (yes, all three The League members share one eyebrow). Carter was featured in a column last month after ranting after cosmetics and her tattooed hair.

These five are, by The League's measurement, the strongest candidates at this stage of the game. But we wouldn't discount the possibility of someone coming out of the blue to put up a good fight. This campaign will be fought after current members jockey to replace Dixon as Council President. The 2006 elections may be over, but 2007 promises to be an exciting year in Baltimore politics.

from The League: Reassembled


Blogger Stephanie Dray said...

I'm too mad at Mfume right now to back him. And Pat Jessamy seems more than a little crazy to me.

I'll be watching Pratt.

11/09/2006 04:31:00 PM  
Blogger andy k in MD said...

Why so mad at Mfume, Steph? Was it the 2006=1956 line? I can understand I suppose.

Mfume is my initial choice, but I don't know enough about the other possible candidates to make a decision now.

All I know about Dixon is that everyone i mention her name to seems to think she is horribly corrupt.

Anyone know which of these candidates would be most likely to put a stop to the Struever Bros. and their terrible development of the city? They will get my vote.

11/09/2006 04:41:00 PM  
Blogger nickshepDEM said...

I like Keiffer in that race.

11/10/2006 12:58:00 PM  

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