Baltimore Press

Stokes Gains Endorsements

Yesterday evening, nine state and local elected officials publicly endorsed Carl Stokes for Mayor at his campaign headquarters in Mount Vernon.

The endorsements came from every legislative district in the city but for two, the 46th and 47th.
Those at the conference endorsing Stokes were State Senator Delores Kelley, Delegate Maggie McIntosh, and Delegate Wendell Phillips; officials who did not attend but declared their support in written statements were State Delegates James Campbell (D-42), Mayoral Candidate Carl Stokes. Clarence Davis (D-45), Tony Fulton (D-40), Lisa Gladden (D-41), Ruth Kirk (D-44), and City Councilman Rita Church (D-3).

The principal theme throughout the conference was that Stokes was neither a fire-brand brand orator nor a glamorous candidate, but the sort of competent and honest administrator that the city needs.
She also cited his recent term on the school board as being critical to her endorsement. “He won’t promise the world to everybody… he is not looking at the polls and waiting for the kingmakers to decide who will be the next mayor.”

“He’s not sexy or glitzy, but he is thoughtful” Senator Kelley stated, laughing. His strengths lay in his honesty, she said, along with his knowledge on the school board as being critical to her endorsement.
Delegate Phillips stressed that Stokes has the “integrity to make uncomfortable decisions.”

Delegate McIntosh, who had originally endorsed Kweisi Mfume, defended her freshly-minted allegiance to Stokes.
“Carl conducted himself with integrity when there was a cloud called Mfiime over the city,” she said, as Stokes grew noticeably uncomfortable with the line of questioning.

McIntosh represents a middle to upper-middle-class district in northern Baltimore. When her constituents had to raise money to hire a librarian for a local school, she knew there was a problem: a problem she believes Stokes will address.

The written endorsements from those politicians not attending the conference were the usual political homilies, praising Stokes integrity and commitment. However, they could also point to concrete achievements and policies. Delegate Kirk mentioned Stokes’s desire to revamp the Neighborhood Service Centers. Delegate Campbell noted his work toward regionalizing the school system, a step that was recently recommended by the National Center on Education and the Economy. Finally, Delegate Gladden wrote simply “Carl’s early declaration of his candidacy speaks volumes about his vision.”

Also endorsing Stokes were three members of the Democratic Party’s State Central Committee: Cheryl Glenn, Jim Kraft, and Doreen Rosenthal.

Stokes told the Press that he was “not sure” what consequences Martin O’Malley’s recently declared mayoral candidacy will have to his campaign. O’Malley is a popular City Council member with city-wide support.
“We’ll just keep doing what we are doing.” Stokes said.

Stokes is currently being polled as second only to Lawrence Bell in the mayoral race. With his current campaign to walk through Baltimore, and Bell’s widely rumored lack of funds, Stokes’ visibility is heightening in the media.

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