2 Powerful Lawmakers Diverge in Baltimore Council Race

    A powerful state lawmaker from Baltimore City is taking sides in her local Democratic primary for a City Council seat.

    In an email going out to supporters Wednesday morning, House Appropriations Chairwoman Maggie L. McIntosh (D) is endorsing Odette T. Ramos, one of the Democratic candidates seeking to replace veteran City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke (D), who is retiring after decades in office.

    “Odette and I both got our start in politics volunteering for Mary Pat Clarke, a dynamic and tireless advocate for Baltimore,” McIntosh writes in the email. “Earlier this year she announced her retirement, and while it saddens me to see her go, I can rest easy knowing that there is a qualified, passionate, hard-working, and incredibly effective woman running in her place.”

    Ramos is a longtime community activist who is executive director of the Community Development Network of Maryland and a member of the Baltimore City Democratic Central Committee.

    “Odette’s work as an advocate for affordable housing, neighborhood revitalization and family stability legislation and policies is what sets her apart as the best candidate in the race to build on the wonderful legacy of Councilwoman Clarke,” McIntosh wrote.

    McIntosh’s endorsement email does not rate as a surprise: She spoke at Ramos’ kickoff fundraiser in late May. But it does represent a new level of advocacy for Ramos.

    McIntosh’s endorsement also puts her at odds with the senator in her district, Mary L. Washington (D), who is backing Joe Kane for the Council seat. Kane is an Iraq War veteran and federal contractor with the U.S. Coast Guard who is active in his local community association.

    Clarke has served on the City Council since 1975.

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    Josh Kurtz
    Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.