Strong showing by incumbents

Cole heads for victory over 8 rivals in race for Mitchell's seat

City Council

Baltimore Votes 2007 Primary Results

September 12, 2007|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN REPORTER

Neither rain nor low voter turn out kept nearly all of the incumbent Democrats from racking up commanding leads as votes were tallied last night in the primary election for Baltimore City Council seats.

With nearly all precincts reporting the following incumbents appeared to have retained their seats, according to the unofficial vote count: James Kraft in the 1st District, Nicholas C. D'Adamo Jr. in the 2nd District, Robert W. Curran in the 3rd District, Belinda K. Conaway in the 7th District, Helen L. Holton in the 8th District, Agnes Welch in the 9th District, Edward L. Reisinger in the 10th District, Bernard C. "Jack" Young in the 12th District and Mary Pat Clarke in the 14th District.

Rochelle "Rikki" Spector in the 5th District, the council's longest-serving member, had no competition in the primary.

In one of the most heated races, incumbent Vernon Crider trailed Warren Branch in the 13th District race by a slim margin. Crider was appointed this year to replace Paula Johnson Branch, who abruptly left office to take a job in the real estate industry.

Before becoming a councilman in April, Crider was Branch's legislative assistant and a member of the Baltimore City State Central Committee.

Branch, 46, a public works inspector for the city who lives in Madison East End, has been president of his neighborhood association and was elected to the Democratic State Central Committee.

He is not related to Paula Johnson Branch.

In the 11th District, William Cole appeared to be headed for victory over his eight competitors for one of the council's two open seats. The district includes Bolton Hill, Reservoir Hill, Otterbein, Federal Hill, Mount Vernon and a number of West Baltimore neighborhoods.

Cole appears likely to replace Keiffer J. Mitchell Jr., who had held the seat for 12 years but decided not to seek re-election to run in the Democratic mayoral primary.

Gov. Martin O'Malley and U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings endorsed Cole, 34, who represented the 47th District as a delegate in the General Assembly from 1998 to 2002.

"For six months, I campaigned in every neighborhood and went into every building I could possibly get into," Cole said. "I'm honored that in the end, I was recognized as the best candidate."

Cheryl Pearson, 36, of Mount Vernon said she voted for Cole because of his political experience.

"He certainly has more than the other ones," Pearson said. "And I like his ideas. I looked at Cole's Web site and liked what he had to say."

Cole, an administrator at the University of Baltimore, ran a campaign focused on education. He said he supports an end to the city-state partnership that runs the city schools.

Joining Cole as a newcomer on the council would be one of the nine candidates in the the 4th District, which runs approximately between Charles Street and Loch Raven Boulevard, a largely middle-class section of North Baltimore that includes Mid-Govans, Homeland and Bellona-Gittings.

Bill Henry held a substantial lead over the eight others for the Democratic nomination in the 4th District, where Kenneth N. Harris Sr. decided not to seek re-election so that he could run for council president.

Henry, 39, of Radnor-Winston was until recently director of commercial development at Patterson Park Community Development Corp., which has led the revitalization of the area. He was a legislative aide for Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke and chief of staff for Lawrence A. Bell III when Bell was City Council president.

"Without a doubt, the method that really resonated was that I was willing to be a full-time council person," Henry said.

Ellen Frost of Lake Walker said she voted for Henry because of his work with Patterson Park Community Development.

"He's into the issues that I'm interested in, namely affordable housing," said Frost, 34.

Nancy Moore said after voting for Henry at Northside Baptist Church, "I don't know him personally, but people we trust say he is bright and on top of things."

The 6th District seat was expected to be retained by the candidate who were appointed to fill the seat that became open during the past term.

Sharon Green Middleton, who replaced Stephanie Rawlings-Blake in February after Rawlings-Blake became council president, had a substantial lead over three opponents, including Elizabeth "Liz" Smith, a student of hers when she taught in middle school.

Republican and Green Party candidates have filed to run in many of the city's 14 council districts in the general election, but nearly eight out 10 voters in the city are registered Democrats.

brent.jones@baltsun.com

CITY COUNCIL

DEMOCRAT

DISTRICT 1

17 of 19 precincts - 89% James Kraft* 2,017 55% Donald Dewar 1,444 40% Terry McCready 112 3% Marc Warren 68 2%

DISTRICT 2

20 of 20 precincts - 100% x-Nicholas D'Adamo* 3,281 69% Lawrence Moses 1,502 31%

DISTRICT 3

21 of 21 precincts - 100% x-Robert Curran* 4,684 76% Michael Hamilton 1,125 18% Norman Hall 335 5%

DISTRICT 4

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