By Sean Yoes
AFRO Baltimore Editor
A veteran Baltimore City politician and educator was a last minute entry into the race for the powerful Baltimore City Council President seat.
Carl Stokes, a former member of the Council and co-founder of the Bluford Drew Jemison STEM Academy, officially filed his paperwork with the State Board of Elections on Jan. 24, the last day of eligibility for the primary in April.
Carl Stokes during his run for Baltimore Mayor in 2016. He recently entered the race for Baltimore City Council President. (Courtesy Photo)
“What has moved me to enter this race among many factors is the obvious disparity economically in the Black community, versus the White community,” Stokes said in a statement.
“As chair of the Board of Estimates, which gives out tens of millions of dollars in contracts each week, I am keenly aware that the great bulk of those contracts go to non-minorities. Imagine how different the economic gap would be if we made it an imperative to ensure people of Color had access to those taxpayer funded contracts?” Stokes added.
Stokes ran for Baltimore Mayor in 1999, in a race that pointed a white-hot spotlight on the city’s racial and political fissures. He ran against then Baltimore City Council President Lawrence Bell, and Baltimore City Councilman Martin O’Malley, a race in which O’Malley prevailed, and Stokes finished second. He also ran for Baltimore Mayor in 2016. He enters a race for Council President, which includes: Baltimore City Del. Nick Mosby, Baltimore City Councilmember Shannon Sneed, Baltimore City Councilmember Leon F. Pinkett, entrepreneur Marques Dent, veteran community activist Leo W. Burroughs and Dan Sparaco, who are all Democrats. Jovani M. Patterson is the lone Republican candidate.
“I look forward to having a deeper discussion on public safety, education, neighborhood development, business investments and taxes, as this campaign moves forward,” Stokes said.