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August 7, 2011

O'Malley backs Baraka alumnus for city council

Boys of Baraka subject and city council hopeful De'Von Brown got a boost from Maryland's top Democrat this weekend, capturing the endorsement of Gov. Martin O'Malley.

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.
Brown said that he got to know the O'Malley clan after the movie Boys of Baraka was screened. The film follows Brown and three other disadvantaged Baltimore children who were scooped out of the city schools and sent to be educated in Kenya for a year.

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.

Posted by Annie Linskey at 2:58 PM | | Comments (21)
Categories: 2011 City Campaigns


Bravo. O'Murder gets in on a race NOT because he is genuine, but because his foe is running opposite.
MARYLANDER'S we can not afford to keep voting in the smae ilk.
If Urlich runs, yes O'Murder is better; just by a hair. But, if a new candidate runs and they have a clue, then we have got to VOTE O'Murder out and keep Urlich out as well.

We deserve better. We are COWARDS for voting the same garbage in city after city...Pure COWARDS

You are being pimped out man. Get some life experiences of your own and come back in a few years. You are only a boy toy for the boy Gov. You will serve at his pleasure and you are only a pawn. Pay attention.

And why not? Perhaps other young people would see this young man as someone to look up too! There needs to be a changing of the guard in city hall. I welcome new blood and bold new ideas. maybe we can get rid of the crooks and the cronyism that permeates city hall.

There is a very interesting story here but can you print some information about the candidate? Did the reporter even try to get a quote from him? I, too, welcome the "new blood" but can't comment on his "bold new ideas" based on this article.

New blood is one thing, however, local gov't decision-making impacts tax payers and citizens at this level faster than the federal gov't. This position requires either gov't or business experience, patience and knowledge. How else can one determine if issuing a bond is a good idea? What about rezoning? What about public-private partnerships? Capital improvement projects?

To Ed Johnson:

Come-on Ed. You call this "change of the guard"? He is hand supported the the "king of the old guard", the Governor. This kid will be corrupted the day he walks in if he isn't already.

Kick them all out. We in Maryland are unbelievable. No matter how much they tax us to death, we put them back in. Time for more of us to move to states to appreciate its citizens and stop taking its money.

Ah, Governor Vindictive speaks out. Had to wait awhile for this one. How many more are on his list?

Nice PR move and photo-op.Good way to look good after MOM's disgraceful ignorance shown on this morning on ABC's "This Week." The first Eejit claims that the S&P was not justified with their downgrade. Um... no one is lending us money dumb-arse. And if the agency that didn't downgrade mortgage backed securities until it was too late should scare off of us -- our true rating is likely far worse than we know.But seriously, nice photo-op. And the kid's even old enough to go drink'n with the gubner. I wonder if the kid is Keneysian or if he follows other traditional economic models (if others, hopefully not brutalized like John Keynes' model has been by the Feds).

Forget that O’Malley has endorsed him, as an endorsement from O’Malley in many people’s eyes means absolutely nothing. To say this kid has no experience is unfair and more or less ignorant considering the fact many people say this based on his age. I believe these are the kinds of leaders the city needs. First, he is setting a POSITIVE example for blacks in the city and potentially blacks all over the state. Secondly, HE IS THE COMMUNITY HE IS TRYING TO REPRESENT. I read on these comments all the time people complain about young blacks in the city being the source of the crime and other problems in the community. Why not let a YOUNG, BLACK person take charge to make a change in a community he knows well. A lot of these kids need role models they can relate to, role models in which they can see themselves. Who knows, this kid could be that person. I think a lot of the posters commenting from the outside looking in do not understand looking from the inside out. Let this young man state his intentions, his views, actually get to know his platform , and most importantly take O’Malley out of the equation. You never know he may be what this particular district needs.

You should visit Brown's website before you judge him. He is the best candidate for the 12th. He knows and understands the community, and is a very strong youth advocate. We need young blood. He understands the people.

It's great that O'Malley is endorsing him. What's the odds of a 21 year old African American male, growing up in East Baltimore, who struggled with having a drug addicted mom, living in foster care; getting endorsed by the governor for city council.

If this was a way for him to get back at Stokes, why not support Ramos, or any other older candidate? I just think some people are upset becasue of Brown's age! But it's about time we get some fresh blood in office. Because the status quo down city hall failed us.

You all may call this politics but I call this change! This is a great move by the gov.

O'Malleys new found affection for voting age black youths is pathetic. With so much discrimination in his own administration the weasel is now attempting to dupe blacks into believing he his pro diversity. Blacks in Maryland are finally realizing that photo oppportunitys cannot erase years of bigotry.

Governor retaliatory has no credibility.

Seems the article is more about O'M than it is about a candidate for city council. I wonder if he was running in another district if the guv would have "endorsed" him?

De'von is a sincere person who is not o'malley's pawn. he lives and goes to school in the 12th district. I don't think you can speak badly about him if haven,'t even heard his views. he is not corrupted by any goverment offical or politician. he has a heart for the people a grass roots individual.

He never gets involved in contested primaries except when he needs to pay someone back for supporting Ehrlich. Even though he won by a wide margin with the help of a flood of money to buy dishonest attack ads. More evidence of what a nasty vindictive pr$ck Omalley is.

Didn't O'Malley whine about Ehrlich-Harris-Gilchrest? Alas the irony!

Devon Brown seems to be making the best of the opportunities that have been presented to him and serves as a great role model for inner city males. But he is not the best candidate for the 12th District. The city's fiscal situation will only get worse. The district needs someone who has experience working with government, institutions, businesses, non-profits and foundations, and community organizations to forge partnerships to improve the 12th District one block at a time. The hardest working and best qualified candidate is Odette Ramos. No other candidate has visited with residents of every block in the 12th District and is equally comfortable in every neighborhood.

If O'Malley endorses him, I know I would never vote for him. That is also the reason I am not going to vote for Rawlings-Blake. He was a mediocre mayor and a lousy Governor

I'm ok with a 21 year old running for city council. The current city council is out of touch and half of them don't even live in their own district. You want change Baltimore? Well here's a chance. What else does this city have to lose?

If he's as mature as his age, he'll beat most of the current council.

O'Malley is clearly being vindictive here, but I think it could work out better for the district if this young man is elected. The district's been treated poorly for years, and if this young man is genuinely interested in fixing it, it'll be a step up. I guess we'll see how it plays out.

Brief history check. There is nothing wrong with the Governor getting involved in contested primaries, but it is certainly not unprecedented. Governor O'Malley was certainly quite involved in the 11th district primary in 2007. He publicly supported the eventual winner, Bill Cole, and even worked a polling place on election day. O'Malley also strongly endorsed Stephanie Rawlings-Blake in the Council President primary in 2007.

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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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