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Election 2022 Government & Politics

Political Notes: Kaiser Running Again, Scott Named Co-Chair of Mayors Against Illegal Guns

Del. Anne R. Kaiser (D-Montgomery). Photo by Danielle E. Gaines.

When Del. Anne R. Kaiser (D-Montgomery) made the surprising announcement last fall that she was stepping down as chair of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, she said she was unsure whether she would seek a sixth term in 2022, though she had filed for reelection with her District 14 teammates months earlier.

Now Kaiser has decided: She will run again, joining with Sen. Craig J. Zucker, House Majority Leader Eric G. Luedtke and Del. Pamela Queen to form an incumbent slate.

“I am just as excited and hopeful as I drive to Annapolis in 2022 as I did when I was first sworn-in in 2003,” Kaiser said in a Facebook post.

Kaiser gave up the gavel to lead the new Public Leadership Institute and expand her teaching role at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy. In her Facebook post, she said the new job was challenging and rewarding — but that she felt she could balance the work and her family responsibilities with her legislative gig. And she said she believes she is continuing to play a vital role, as a mentor to younger lawmakers and as a calm and reasonable veteran voice during legislative debates.

“Whenever possible, I embrace the words ‘compromise’ and ‘balance,'” she wrote. “I’m not the loudest person in the room, I don’t actively seek out media attention or have simple ‘soundbites’ at the ready… but I have helped foster a fairer, more equitable and responsive public education system…I’ve worked tirelessly to make sure the amount of taxes we pay is fair and that our voting systems are as secure as possible. And I’m now on a new committee responsible for overseeing public health and examining state government operations with a fine-tooth comb.”

In a Facebook post of his own, Luedtke celebrated Kaiser’s decision to continue her legislative career.

“I’m proud of the work the District 14 Team has done on behalf of our constituents and would put our record up against that of any team in the General Assembly,” he said.

In addition to the incumbents, two other Democrats are gearing up to run for the House in District 14: Joshua Dowling, a middle school social studies teacher, has already filed to run. Tom B. Smith, an Air Force veteran, has created a campaign website but has not filed the paperwork to become a candidate. Whether Kaiser’s decision to run again forces one or both of the nonincumbents out of the race remains to be seen.

In the District 14 Democratic primary for Senate, Collins Odongo, a business professor at Washington Adventist University, plans to challenge Zucker.

Scott to Co-Chair Mayors’ Anti-Gun Group

Baltimore Mayor Brandon M. Scott is among 10 new co-chairs of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, the gun safety advocacy group.

The mayors announced Tuesday are the first new co-chairs to be named since Mayors Against Illegal Guns was founded in 2006.

The new co-chairs join founding chair Mike Bloomberg as leaders of the nonpartisan coalition, and also include: Chattanooga, Tennessee Mayor Tim Kelly; former Columbia, South Carolina Mayor Steve Benjamin; Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Quinton Lucas; Mount Vernon, New York Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard; New York Mayor Eric Adams; former Stockton, California Mayor Michael Tubbs; St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones; Tampa, Florida Mayor Jane Castor; and Tucson, Arizona Mayor Regina Romero.

“Cities across the country are experiencing the harsh impacts of gun violence, and my city of Baltimore is no exception,” Scott said in a statement. “I am so honored to serve as a co-chair of Mayors Against Illegal Guns and join with other mayors across the country to advocate for meaningful change.”

Scott has been a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns since 2020, the year he was elected. He will serve a two-year term as co-chair.

There were 337 homicides and 728 nonfatal shootings in Baltimore in 2021.