Baltimore committee chooses Dobson to replace Curran

March 11, 1998|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF

A community activist was selected to fill the seat of state Del. Gerald J. Curran, who resigned last month after ethical questions arose about his business dealings.

In a 4-1 vote, Michael Dobson, 47, was chosen to replace Curran, who resigned Feb. 27, three days before he was to appear before a legislative ethics panel to defend his actions.

Dobson, a bankruptcy claims analyst, said that he was gratified by the decision of the five-member 43rd Legislative District Democratic State Central Committee and that he intends to run for the seat in this year's state elections.

"I'm just anxious to get to work," Dobson said as he was congratulated by supporters last night at the Northeastern District police station, where the committee met to make the selection.

The committee will forward its selection to Gov. Parris N. Glendening, who is required to appoint the panel's choice as long as the person is legally qualified.

Dobson defeated three other candidates, including Linda Janey, a state planner and former city school board member, and John T. Nolan, a former city school teacher and lobbyist.

He also defeated Pat Gorman, 54, a former city schoolteacher and a community activist from Original Northwood, who said she will run for the seat.

Dobson is the son of the Rev. Vernon Dobson, pastor of Union Baptist Church in West Baltimore and a former president of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance.

Michael Dobson has not held public office before but has run for Congress and City Council.

Dobson and Gorman are members of the 43rd District state central committee.

The committee heard brief opening statements from each of the four candidates and then asked a series of questions in a room packed with about 100 elected officials and supporters.

The 43rd takes in most of North Baltimore between Charles Street and Harford Road and is one of the most ethnically diverse districts in the city.

Once an Irish, German and Italian enclave, it now has a narrow black majority.

Curran's resignation ended a 32-year legislative career for the Northeast Baltimore Democrat.

Pub Date: 3/11/98

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