Bundley joins race for mayor

School administrator lost to O'Malley in '03

February 02, 2007|By John Fritze | John Fritze,sun reporter

Andrey Bundley, the former high school principal who ran an unsuccessful campaign for mayor against Martin O'Malley in 2003, formally announced yesterday that he will give it another try.

Bundley, 46, surprised many political observers when he captured nearly one-third of the vote in the 2003 Democratic primary against O'Malley, a popular incumbent at the time. This year, Bundley will face a much larger and more diverse set of candidates, but he said yesterday that he is up for the challenge.

"If there is no struggle, there is no progress," said Bundley, an intervention coordinator with the Baltimore City public schools. "I will not allow this race to be about pedigree or personality. Only a plan will do."

Standing inside the Heaven's Gate Eatery on West North Avenue, Bundley outlined a plan to carve the city into 55 neighborhood clusters that would each have a 10-member "public service team" that would report to a deputy mayor. Each committee, made up of health, education and public safety officials, would develop a plan to improve its neighborhood.

Bundley will face the current mayor, Sheila Dixon, who is serving the remainder of O'Malley's term and who has said she will run for a full, four-year term in the Sept. 11 primary election. Other candidates include City Councilman Keiffer J. Mitchell Jr., Comptroller Joan M. Pratt, Del. Jill P. Carter, Circuit Court Clerk Frank M. Conaway Sr., A. Robert Kaufman and PTA President Phillip Brown.

In 2003, Bundley, then principal of Walbrook High Uniform Services Academy, announced his candidacy in April. He ran a campaign on about $150,000 -- compared with about $2 million for O'Malley -- but pressured the incumbent into a series of debates and spread his name with lawn signs and postcards.

He made news after he was handcuffed by Baltimore police for leafleting cars with his campaign material. Officers handcuffed him while they checked his identification and then released him. He received a citation for breaking a city law that prohibits placing advertisements on windshields. He used the incident to characterize the police as overly aggressive.

He was largely unknown, having never run for office, but he wound up capturing 28,551 votes, compared with the 59,569 cast for O'Malley.

Johns Hopkins University political scientist Matthew A. Crenson noted that Bundley was the only major candidate running against O'Malley that year. This year, several candidates are now openly critical of the direction the city took under O'Malley. Crenson said Bundley may be able to distinguish himself by playing up his background in education.

"He got 32 percent in 2003 because he was the receptacle into which all the anti-O'Malley citizens poured their distaste for the mayor," Crenson said. "Now they have several other options beside him -- like Jill Carter, Frank Conaway -- running as anti-O'Malley candidates. So he's not likely to have a monopoly on that."

Bundley was raised in West Baltimore by aunts and uncles after the death of his mother when he was 13. He graduated from Coppin State College and earned a master's degree and a doctorate from Pennsylvania State University.

"Baltimore City is figuratively and literally dying. This city must have a plan that inspires and resuscitates," Bundley said. "Our vision includes every neighborhood, every man, every woman and every child."

john.fritze@baltsun.com

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