Mary Pat Clarke Expresses Preference in Race to Succeed Her

    An important development in the race to replace veteran Baltimore City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke (D) in the 14th District: Clarke has endorsed community activist Odette Ramos in next year’s competitive Democratic primary.

    “Having worked with Odette for more than two decades, I can testify that she is ready-and-able from day one to bring her feisty spirit, collaborative approach, and years of leadership experience to benefit the 14th District neighborhoods and our City as a whole,” Clarke said in a statement Thursday.

    Mailers featuring Clarke’s endorsement of Ramos began landing in the mailboxes of District 14 registered Democrats on Thursday. Notably, the brochures were paid for by Clarke’s campaign.

    Clarke was first elected to the City Council in 1975, and from 1987 to 1995 served as City Council president. She lost a race for mayor in 1995 but returned to the Council in 2004 and has been there ever since.

    So far, the leading candidates to replace Clarke in the North Central Baltimore district are Ramos, executive director of the Community Development Network of Maryland and a member of the Baltimore City Democratic Central Committee, and Joe Kane, an Iraq War veteran, federal contractor and community activist.

    Rita Church, the daughter of a late city councilwoman of the same name, is also competing in the Democratic primary. She finished seventh in an 11-way House of Delegates primary in the 45th District in 2018.

    Kane has been endorsed by the local state senator, Mary Washington (D) and state Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot (D), while Ramos has the backing of one of the local delegates, House Appropriations Chairwoman Maggie L. McIntosh (D).

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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.