O'Malley backs Baraka alumnus for city council
O'Malley said Friday that he could not recall ever before wading into contested Democratic primary -- but in this case he said he picked 21-year-old Brown out of a crowded field because "I think he just represents the best of what Baltimore has to offer."
The governor said that Brown is "good friends" with all of the members of his family and he handed the candidate a campaign check when he arrived at a Brown fundraiser in Little Italy.
"I love his passion," O'Malley said. "He is a good guy and I think the city would do very, very well to bet on this guy." Brown is vying in the 12th councilmanic district, which includes parts of Mount Vernon and East Baltimore.
O'Malley, who was mayor when the film was released, invited Brown to dinner with his family. Brown became close with Katie O'Malley, a district court judge, and has addressed defendants her truancy court.
The governor spoke briefly at the fundraiser addressing criticism that Brown is too young to be a city council member. "When I was 27 years old all of the all of the political power brokers said, 'It is not his time. He needs to wait in line. He hasn’t paid his dues.' "
"You know what the due are?," O'Malley said. "The dues are knocking on the doors of the people you want to serve and asking them for their trust. That’s the dues."
The governor stayed at the fundraiser for about an hour, mingling with guests including Abell Foundation President Bob Embry. Embry's organization funded the experimental Baraka School, which closed in 2003 because of unrest in Kenya.
O'Malley decision to get into the race is unprecedented: He has always sat on the sidelines, at least publicly, in contested primaries. But, in this case it can't hurt that Brown happens to be challenging O'Malley foe Carl Stokes.
The veteran councilman last year hosted Republican gubernatorial candidate Robert L. Ehrlich at a charter school event in Baltimore. At the time Stokes insisted the stop was not a campaign event, though it happened to be the same day Ehrlich toured the state to introduce his running mate for the first time.
Stokes became a councilman in the chain of events following former Mayor Sheila Dixon's resignation. He took the East Baltimore seat that became vacant when Bernard C. "Jack" Young took over as city council president. Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, the city council president, became mayor.
Stokes briefly considered throwing his hat in for mayor this year, but is now is gunning for re-election to city council.