After losing in Baltimore politics, Keiffer Mitchell turns to Annapolis
As the political chatter begins over next year’s election, one name that repeatedly gets tossed into the rumor mill is Keiffer J. Mitchell Jr., the former Baltimore City councilman who gave up his council seat when he ran unsuccessfully for mayor two years ago.
A phone call to Mitchell helped to explain why: He readily admitted that he has not ruled out running for a seat in the Maryland General Assembly. That’s politician-speak that means he’s testing the waters before officially declaring a candidacy. “I am going to look long and hard at that option,” he said, adding that he plans to discuss the matter with family and friends. “Quite frankly, I do miss public service.”
Mitchell lives in the 44th district that’s currently represented by Sen. Verna L. Jones and Dels. Keith E. Haynes, Ruth M. Kirk and Melvin L. Stukes. All are Democrats. Mitchell did not say whose seat he’s eyeing.
While Mayor Sheila Dixon decisively beat Mitchell and other contenders in the 2007 Democratic primary, Mitchell did garner 24 percent of the vote. And Mitchell’s political roots run deep — his great-uncle was the late Parren J. Mitchell, the first African-American member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Maryland.
But Mitchell suffered several setbacks during his last campaign.
He was forced to take leave from his job at Harbor Bank after his boss said the mayoral run had become a distraction. And his father, Dr. Keiffer J. Mitchell, resigned as campaign treasurer after questions were raised about expenditures he authorized and then tried to evict the campaign operations from his medical office, citing unpaid rent.
Nonetheless, talk of his return to politics continues. Mitchell said he heard last week a rumor that he planned to run for City Council president, and last month he heard gossip that he was contemplating a campaign for Baltimore sheriff. The sheriff rumor he found particularly funny – “I don’t think I would look good in a sheriff’s uniform.”