Young shifts politics to radio Says he'll be neutral in candidates' race for his District 44 seat

July 07, 1998|By Craig Timberg | Craig Timberg,SUN STAFF Sun staff writers JoAnna Daemmrich and Todd Richissin contributed to this article.

Expelled state Sen. Larry Young took to the radio yesterday to confirm his plans to trade politics for broadcasting -- opening up a battle between two of his longtime allies for Baltimore's 44th District Senate seat.

On radio station WOLB, Young bashed the press and "the kangaroo court" of state senators who expelled him in January. But he said he could not run again with "a dark cloud [hanging] over my head" -- an apparent reference to criminal probes by both state and federal prosecutors.

The main reason for leaving the race, he said, "is my desire to see to it that the citizens of the 44th District are represented by a senator who can be completely devoted to the issues that face the district and be responsive to the interests and needs of its citizens."

He added, "I realize at this time I cannot be that person."

Young also complained about mounting legal bills that he said already exceeded $50,000.

The West Baltimore Democrat's departure from the race leaves Del. Clarence M. Mitchell IV and state Sen. John D. Jefferies -- who was appointed to complete Young's term -- campaigning in a district that includes some of the city's poorest neighborhoods.

Mitchell, 36, filed his election papers in Annapolis Thursday. Jefferies, 70, did so yesterday. Both are Democrats.

"I feel as though I've earned the right to a full four-year term," Jefferies said afterward.

He made clear that he is counting on help from Young, saying, "I expect he will support me the same as he did earlier. I'd only expect him to turn elsewhere if I had done a poor job."

But Young, while praising both Jefferies and Mitchell, said he would stay neutral in the race. "I don't see any reason I should get involved," he said.

Jefferies succeeded Young once before in the legislature, taking his seat in the House of Delegates in 1988 when Young moved over to the Senate.

At the time, Young was replacing Michael B. Mitchell, who had resigned after being convicted of obstruction of justice and wire fraud charges.

Clarence M. Mitchell's sister, Lisa Mitchell, is one of several candidates who have filed for the district's three House of Delegates seats. She plans to run as an independent, shunning her family's long allegiance to the Democratic party, she said yesterday on WOLB.

Del. Ruth M. Kirk also filed for the election, as did several newcomers.

They include: Young associate Jeffrey A. Paige; the Rev. Walter F. Burgess, an Episcopal priest; Rodney A. Orange, president of the Baltimore chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; community activists Verna L. Jones, Charles W. Neal and Arlene B. Fisher; and Anthony W. McCarthy, a former press secretary for U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings.

The two candidates in the Senate race, Jefferies and Clarence Mitchell, stood staunchly by Young throughout his investigation by the legislature's ethics committee and his painful expulsion from the Senate.

Young's new job will be as morning host on WOLB, the Baltimore radio station owned by Cathy Hughes, he said during the afternoon broadcast yesterday. "I have no doubt in my mind," he said on the air yesterday, "that not only would I have won, but I would have won overwhelmingly."

Pub Date: 7/07/98

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