Independent gains a place on city ballot

Council incumbents to face more than a dozen challengers Nov. 2

August 23, 2004|By Laura Vozzella | Laura Vozzella,SUN STAFF

Only one independent candidate has petitioned herself onto the November ballot for the first city general election since the City Council was reduced and reshaped.

But council incumbents - all Democrats - will face more than a dozen other challengers from the Republican and Green parties. One Libertarian also is running.

City election officials released a list of candidates last week, after confirming that Jacquiline "Jackie" Q. Johnson of Edmondson Village had collected more than the required 223 signatures to get on the ballot.

Johnson, a member of the ACORN community group behind the redrawn council districts, will challenge Councilwoman Helen L. Holton in the 8th District.

Only one other person attempted to petition his way onto the ballot in city elections. But Frank M. Conaway, the Circuit Court clerk who wants to be mayor, failed to collect enough signatures to get on the ballot as an independent.

He needed about 2,900 - more than Johnson because the mayor's race is citywide. Conaway intends to challenge Mayor Martin O'Malley as a Democratic write-in candidate.

Two other people will attempt to unseat the Democratic mayor. Elbert R. Henderson will be on the ballot as a Republican. Charles U. Smith, a Democrat, is a write-in candidate.

Joan M. Pratt, the city comptroller, is running unopposed.

The 19-member City Council was shrunk and reshaped by voters in a November 2002 referendum, and the Nov. 2 election will be the first to put those changes into effect. The primary was held in September.

The referendum cut four seats from the council and created 14 single-member districts - replacing the current system of six three-member districts. The council president will continue to be elected at-large. The changes were meant to make it easier for less-established candidates to run.

In the race for president, incumbent Sheila Dixon will face one challenger, Brandon Welch, a Green Party candidate.

Three people are seeking the 1st District council seat, which has no incumbent. They are Green Party candidate Matt Clark, Democrat James B. Kraft and Republican Roberto L. Marsili. In the 2nd District, incumbent Nicholas C. D'Adamo Jr. faces Republican Will Bauer and Libertarian Lorenzo Gaztanaga. Councilman Robert W. Curran of the 3rd District is being challenged by the Green Party's Bill Barry and Republican Carlos M. Torres.

In the 4th District, Republican Armand F. Girard and David G.S. Greene of the Green Party will try to unseat Councilman Kenneth N. Harris Sr. The 5th District race pits incumbent Rochelle "Rikki" Spector against Republican Elliott Cahan and the Green Party's Terrence T. Fitzgerald.

Republican Melvin A. Bilal will take on Council Vice President Stephanie C. Rawlings Blake in the 6th District. The open 7th District features a race between Republican Owen B. Hanratty and Democrat Belinda K. Conaway, Frank Conaway's daughter.

Councilwoman Agnes L. Welch is unopposed in the 9th District. In the 10th, incumbent Edward L. Reisinger is being challenged by Republican Joe Collins Jr.; and Councilman Keiffer J. Mitchell Jr. faces Republican James Carlos Quigley in the 11th.

Green Party candidate Paul H. Dibos and Republican Dale Warren Hargrave will try to unseat Councilman Bernard C. "Jack" Young in the 12th. In the 13th District, incumbent Paula Johnson Branch will take on Republican Joe DiMatteo and Green Glenn Lowell Ross.

The 14th District has no incumbent, although the Democratic candidate, Mary Pat Clarke, is a former council president. She is running against Myles B. Hoenig of the Green Party.

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