Countdown to September 13th: Who Will Lead ... Come November 8th?
By Doni Morton Glover, www.bmorenews.com
(BALTIMORE - May 17, 2011) - While the Baltimore City Primary is Tuesday, September 13, 2011 – one wonders if – as has been the case historically – that will be the day we, the citizens of Baltimore, find out who will lead the city for the next four years.
Will Gov. Martin O’Malley’s Obama-esque move placing his brother, Peter, back at City Hall as Blake's Chief of Staff pan out as it has for Rahm Israel Emanuel, the former White House Chief of Staff who is now the new mayor of Chicago, home of a successful political machine?
In any event, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, daughter to the late House Appropriations Chair Howard “Pete” Rawlings, has two important dates in front of her: September 13th and November 8th.
Typically, the winner of the Primary in Baltimore (a heavily Democratic town) is the winner of the General.
However, given the landscape, 2011 might be a little different.
Rawlings-Blake, who has over a million dollars in the coiffeurs, will probably out-buy any opponent in terms of ads. Being the incumbent, she has the money, the people power, and the full support of the Maryland Democratic Party. One could say that it’s a slam dunk.
And, given the plethora of black Democratic candidates demonstrating interest in the Mayor’s seat – her odds tend to improve tremendously.
However, just down the road, Adrian Fenty had a lot of money, too. And, he had the power of incumbency. Yet, somewhere along the line, he became distant from the very people that put him in power: his base.
A question becomes, particularly since former Mayor Sheila Dixon was instrumental in Rawlings-Blake’s Council Presidency win, who is Rawlings-Blake’s base? City workers? Black people? White people? A blend of both black and white?
Another question becomes: What leverage does a Martin O’Malley political machine have in Baltimore? While the Maryland Governor has his eyes on Washington, DC either as US Senator or a Presidential hopeful (after Obama, of course), does the Peter O’Malley move to City Hall represent an “all hands on deck” clarion call for Democratic unity?
Or, are Baltimoreans O'Malley'd-out?
It is still early – in a sense. However, it’s not too early to discuss the pertinent issues. For instance, is Dr. Andres Alonso the best person to run the Baltimore City Public School system? Seemingly, progress has been made. But, a lot of people have been ushered out of the system, too – like black veteran teachers.
Is privatization the order of the day with our schools? Is there a better approach to educating Baltimore's children as suggested at last week's mayoral forum - like a stronger contribution from institutions that continuously get tax breaks from the City?
Are our teachers being given the support they need in order to produce intelligent individuals?
Or, is it still more likely that a black male in Baltimore has a better chance at slinging drugs and going to jail than finishing high school and going on to college?
Clearly, Baltimore City – with a large population of non-voting young people – has its challenges.
And, so will the Mayor come September 13th.
Her biggest challenge thus far, one could conclude, is the lone white candidate in the race: Jody Landers. Numerically, he might need merely 35% of the vote to win on September 13th. And, with the right stuff, he can get it.
So, be on the lookout for the beginning of the definition game. As evident with last week’s mayoral forum, the mayor will likely avoid as many debates as possible. The less she shows, the better. So, any moment now – the first of a series of one-liners will begin to emerge. Stay-tuned to BMORENEWS.com, the news before the news … where we uncover the truth.
What do you think?
1 comment(s) on this page. Add your own comment below.
Excellent article describing the perceived challenges for Blake. Do you think the voting landscape has changed that significantly that Landers has a chance at 35% of the vote. With the influx of progressive young liberals in Baltimore does this help Rolley? It should be fun.