In First, Union Endorses Third-Party Candidate In Baltimore Council Race

    The Green Party candidate running for a Baltimore City Council seat clinched one decisive victory recently ― 85% of the vote for a union endorsement.

    The Metro Baltimore Council AFL-CIO, the largest labor union council in Maryland, announced the endorsement of Franca Muller Paz for the 12th District City Council seat this week. It is the first time the council has endorsed a third-party challenger.

    Muller Paz is challenging Democratic incumbent Councilman Robert Stokes Sr., who won the party’s nomination with 40% of the vote in a close primary earlier this year.

    Muller Paz has racked up several endorsements, including from Our Revolution, Sunrise Movement Baltimore, Bikemore, Greater Baltimore Democratic Socialists of America, the Sierra Club and Baltimore Women United for Action.

    Muller Paz has raised more than $70,000 during her run from more than 1,080 donors. The campaign touts a grass-roots effort, with an average donation of $44.88 and more than 300 campaign volunteers.

    Muller Paz touted her own union bona fides this week as an elected building representative in the Baltimore Teachers Union. “I am honored to stand with the support of my fellow union brothers and sisters in the fight for Baltimore’s working families. If our city is serious about challenging systemic racism that has denied wealth to our Black community, it starts with making sure working people earn the wages and benefits we all deserve,” Muller Paz said in a statement.

    Diamonté Brown, president of the Baltimore Teachers Union, released a statement in response to the AFL-CIO endorsement.

    “Franca has been a leader in the Baltimore Teachers Union for many years. She’s a trusted colleague at City College who staff turn to in moments of challenge and creative possibility. She has taught and mentored many of Baltimore’s next generation of young organizers and has run an unprecedented campaign connecting with voters through music, community events, and real policies that would make a material difference in their lives,” Brown said. “It is rare to have someone who understands issues of structural racism and classism from a personal and academic level and I think she would be a game changer in the Baltimore City Council.”

    Eugene Z. Boikai, who had no opposition for the Republican nomination, is also in the general election race.

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    Danielle E. Gaines
    Danielle Gaines most recently worked for Bethesda Beat covering Montgomery County. Previously, she spent six years at The Frederick News-Post as the paper’s principal government and politics reporter for half that time, covering courts and legal affairs before that. She also reported for the now-defunct The Gazette of Politics and Business in Maryland and previously worked as a county government and education reporter at the Merced Sun-Star in California’s Central Valley.