Middleton nominated to fill 6th District seat on City Council

Rawlings-Blake had vacated post when she became panel's president

February 22, 2007|By John Fritze | John Fritze,Sun reporter

Sharon Green Middleton was unanimously nominated by a committee yesterday to fill a vacancy on the Baltimore City Council for the 6th District for the rest of the year, a vote that all but guarantees she will be sworn in to the position next week.

Middleton, 52, a Baltimore native who spent decades as an educator with Baltimore County's public schools and then the Maryland State Department of Education before retiring, had long been considered a leading candidate for the seat, which was vacated when Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake became council president.

Her nomination could become a factor in Monday's council vote on a proposed citywide smoking ban. The ban's lead sponsor, Robert W. Curran, needs two more votes to get the ban approved by the 15- member body. If Middleton supports the ban, it would mean Curran is one vote shy.

Middleton would not say yesterday how she might vote on the measure, adding that she is polling her district on the issue. The ban did not come up in yesterday's committee vote.

"What I was most impressed with is [her] very keen understanding that all parts of the district need to be represented," Rawlings-Blake said before the vote.

A committee of 10 council members voted to send Middleton's nomination to the full council Monday. If the council approves her nomination, she will be immediately sworn in by Mayor Sheila Dixon.

Middleton is married to Glenard S. Middleton Sr., a statewide leader in the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, a group that represents many city workers. Middleton, who intends to seek re-election to the seat this year, said the relationship does not pose a conflict.

"I am serving to represent my community," she said.

john.fritze@baltsun.com

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