Former Baltimore City Councilman said to be readying a run for Mayor in 2011; while a current Councilman gets increased duties from Mayor for his possible run on her ticket as Council President.
Yesterday, Examiner colleague and City breaking news organization Investigative Voice, wrote an article announcing the possible run for Mayor from former Baltimore City Councilman Jody Landers. The outspoken fiscal hawk with apparent ties to Baltimore’s business communities, said he is not 100% committed but he is seriously considering it? “I’ve been talking to people and making plans,” he said in an exclusive interview with I.V. “I’m frustrated right now and don’t know what direction the City is going…?” The Morgan State attendee who served two terms in the City Council during the 80’s, leaving in 1991, now serves as the Executive Vice-President of the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors.
Joining an already crowded field of possible contenders such as City Courts Clerk Frank Conaway Sr., State Delegate Jill P. Carter, State Senator Catherine Pugh, former Mayoral Chief of Staff Otis Rolley, former Congressman and U.S. Senate hopeful Kweisi Mfume and almost certainly a few more that can be thrown into the mix, this array of distinguished Baltimore leaders all seem to have their sites set on one person; current incumbent Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. The former Council President, who was elevated to the position of Mayor with the conviction and subsequent resignation of Mayor Sheila Dixon, has seen her moves increasingly criticized, as she now seems to have a red bulls-eye on her back.
However the long-serving former councilwoman, whose father was a Baltimore City legislative powerhouse in Annapolis serving the 40th district of Northwest Baltimore, while she [Rawlings-Blake] was also the youngest serving member of the Baltimore City Council, seemingly has one big factor in her favor…the support of former Baltimore Mayor and current Maryland Governor, Martin O’Malley? As she prepares for a citywide run, in order to officially be elected to the position of Mayor in 2011, Rawlings-Blake also seems to have others in mind as to who could possibly be her allies, and possible running mate(s), in a contentious electoral battle next year.
Recently announcing a “Watch Group” to study the affects of, and to develope new strategies for, downtown vacant properties, the Mayor’s Office listed multiple names of persons set to be on this “group”, which did not include any African-American representation, nor any state elected official, yet did include 11th-district councilman William ‘Bill’ Cole. Cole, said to be contemplating a run for Council President, was supported by Rawlings-Blake in February in taking over her role as President after her succession to the Mayor’s Office, overlooking Councilman Bernard ‘Jack’ Young, who eventually received the unanimous votes from his council colleagues to assume this post. However many believe that due to her [Rawlings-Blake] apparent love and support of Governor O’Malley, whose brother, Peter O'Malley, is the campaign treasurer for Cole, Rawlings-Blake may be lining up certain responsibilities for Cole in order to get him increased media coverage and an increased financial footing, in order to make a strong run against Young during the upcoming 2011 election season?
As this Examiner inquired as to why Councilman Cole was placed on this “group”, while Council President Young and no other state leader, or African American, were considered, and Ian Brennan, a spokesman for Mayor Rawlings-Blake stated that, “Councilman Cole was a member of this working group because the downtown core was in his district.” However when pressed about the rest of the question, he would not answer such, instead questioning my investigative intentions saying that "no one from other news services has a problem" with this group apparently, nor the outside influences such as this Baltimore Examiner, regarding my participation in a non-partisan political action committee set to see fairness in City politics and elections called IMPAC (Independent Movement Political Action Committee). Brennan, who also worked under the Dixon administration, basically wrote off my inquiries as baseless and senseless and has yet to answer why black participation and the exclusion of Young and other State leaders were not addressed in putting together this important "work group”?
Therefore as you begin to see the 2011 Baltimore City Mayoral races take shape already in 2010, one must question what is now coming out of City Hall and why? As allegiances are aligned, deals struck and bed-fellows estranged, Baltimore residents and leaders can get ready for a contentious and almost certain nasty City election season, with mud slinging and racial epithets thrown back and forth throughout the entire campaign season. It will certainly make for interesting television and talk-show radio, along with giving us journalists plenty to write about, however it may not serve the people of Baltimore very well?
To hear a 30-minute discussion regarding the upcoming Baltimore City elections in 2011, the possible candidates and contests, go here to the Marc Steiner Show and listen to how Steiner and I, along with his faithful listeners and callers, see next year’s races. Also for full disclosure, my company, GCOMM Media, has been hired by Council President Bernard ‘Jack’ Young in order to create his campaign website and social media site(s), as we have by other Baltimore City council members as well.
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