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August 17, 2010

City councilman supports Senate challenger

Senate challenger Hector Torres touted an endorsement from City Councilman Bill Henry this morning, providing one establishment stamp of approval for the Senate hopeful.

Torres, a former fire department spokesman, wants to unseat veteran Senator Joan Carter Conway, who chairs the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs committee.

She’s known for her fiery presence in Annapolis and frequently takes the floor push back efforts to reduce funding for the city. But she ruffled feathers this year when she did not allow a bill permitting Marylanders to purchase wine via the Internet to leave her committee.

Torres says she’s too cozy with the state’s powerful alcoholic beverages lobby, which opposed the wine bill. She denies that charge, but he’s also trying to tie her to other special interests, showing on his website that her campaign donors have obtained state contracts.

"It is not about cozy," Conway said. "I tell people you can send me your money if you want, but it is not going to affect what I do."

The race is one of the few contested legislative contests in Baltimore this year and so far it has not attracted the attention as the Della v. Ferguson match up on the city's waterfront.

Henry’s councilmanic district overlaps part of the area Torres hopes to represent. In a statement, Henry said: "Hector Torres has a proven track record of dedicated public service in Baltimore City and I believe he is the candidate who will best represent the interests of the 43rd District in Annapolis," said Henry.

Conway said she was not suprised by the endorsement, and does not think it will not have much of an impact on the race. "It is a democracy, you have the right to endorse whoever you want," she said.

The rest of the councilman’s statement after the jump.
"His earnest dedication to community empowerment and transparency in state government are some of the important assets that set him apart from the incumbent, but just as important is his commitment to engaging his constituents in matters of the state, and communicating with them in a way that fosters civic engagement," said Henry in a statement.

"It is with great anticipation of working with a true partner in Baltimore that I announce my support for Hector Torres and I hope that my friends and supporters will join me in electing Hector Torres to the State Senate."
Posted by Annie Linskey at 11:27 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Candidate Watch 2010, City Hall


A very BOLD move by the first term councilman. It shall be interesting to see what type of blowback this endorsement will have in next year's council race, when Bill Henry will have to run for re-election. Will Mr. Torres, win or lose, be there for Mr. Henry? Who will Mrs. Conway support for the 4th district?

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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