Unlikely candidate runs for mayor

Why not take a shot, says E. Baltimorean who's jobless, on probation

July 10, 1999|By Ivan Penn | Ivan Penn,SUN STAFF

Despite the gun violations, the assault conviction, the drug charges and drunken driving case, Roger L. Loughry Sr. figured he'd take a shot at running for mayor. And this election seemed as good a time as any, since he's unemployed because of several disabilities.

"I didn't see any problem with running for mayor," Democrat Loughry said. "With Marion Barry getting busted and still getting elected [mayor of Washington], why not me? We raised questions about Bill Clinton's ability to lead the country, and he's still in office."

Loughry, an auto mechanic by trade, is one of 27 candidates in the mayoral race, and he said he doesn't believe he will win. Even so, he thought he'd give the mayor's job a try. "There's an opening there; why not?" he said.

The 46-year-old East Baltimorean, who has spent much of the past decade on probation for various offenses, says he's tired of the crime in his neighborhood and the lack of police response to his calls to combat drug dealers.

"I call the police for a shooting and stuff," Loughry said. "They don't show up. I think the mayor has a little more pull."

Loughry acknowledges he's no angel, but he said he wants a safer community to live in.

As part of his own protection, Loughry said he keeps a handgun, which has led to brushes with the law.

He was found guilty in 1986 and again in 1995 of carrying a handgun, according to court records.

The latter conviction resulted from a dispute outside A-1 Pizza and Subs in the 500 block of E. 34th St. on Oct. 23, 1994.

Loughry was accused of threatening Johnnie Jones, who was working at the restaurant, with an automatic handgun, according to court records. Workers at the restaurant said Jones no longer works at A-1 and did not know how to reach him.

Loughry said he was not carrying a handgun that night. But he accepted a plea bargain for three years of probation on his conviction for assault and carrying a handgun because he did not believe he could beat the charges.

Loughry is on probation now for driving while intoxicated Sept. 23, according to court records.

Police also charged Loughry with marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to court records. The drug charges were dropped, but Loughry acknowledges that marijuana was found in his car.

Loughry spends much of his time at home in the 3000 block of Independence St. because he said he is nearly deaf in his left ear and has suffered "ministrokes" and a heart attack. But talking about running for mayor, seems to be the most exciting thing in his life.

"Just 'cause I'm dying doesn't mean I can't do it," Loughry said.

Pub Date: 7/10/99

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