By Special Report

On March 22 at 11:00 a.m., former federal prosecutor and Maryland deputy attorney general Thiru Vignarajah filed to run as a Democrat for State’s Attorney for Baltimore City.

His decision comes as Baltimore faces the worst murder rate in its history and State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby faces a federal criminal trial that could render her constitutionally ineligible to serve.

“In the last seven years, 2400 victims have been murdered, we have 500 fewer police, and many have lost faith that things can get better. If any American city is facing a crisis worse than ours — a record-shattering crime crisis and a crisis of confidence — I am unaware of it,” said Vignarajah, in a statement released ahead of the press conference. “I have devoted my life to public service, to fighting crime as a federal and city prosecutor, and I simply can’t watch this human catastrophe from the sideline when I know I can do something to stop it.” 

Vignarajah, who began his career as a federal prosecutor, also served as Chief of Major Investigations in the City State’s Attorney’s Office and as Deputy Attorney General of Maryland, before becoming a litigation partner at Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Piper in Baltimore. When Vignarajah was named Deputy Attorney General, former Commissioner Anthony Batts called him a “once-in-a-generation lawyer and leader.”

Vignarajah’s “intellect, credentials, experience, and qualifications make him a once-in-a-generation talent,” said former Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis, who worked closely with Vignarajah for over 12 years. “He is just as comfortable inside the courtroom as he is in our neighborhoods.” In a written statement, the former commissioner shared his endorsement:

Never has a singular name been mentioned to me more often by homicide and other violent crime detectives than Mr. Vignarajah. Never have I seen a prosecutor held in such high esteem by detectives working to bring justice to victims and their families. Never have I so often heard tales of a singular person orchestrating collaborative prosecutorial strategies; ones that carefully dissect sophisticated crime organizations and hold them accountable for the harm they have caused our most vulnerable communities. Simply put, Mr. Vignarajah is the Gold Standard.

The son of Baltimore City public school teachers, Vignarajah attended local public schools (Edmondson Heights Elementary through Woodlawn High School) before Yale University and Harvard Law School. He was President of the Harvard Law Review and clerked for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer before beginning his career as a prosecutor in his hometown. 

The campaign’s political director Anthony McCarthy, who previously served as a senior advisor to four mayors and two congressmen, was ecstatic about the announcement: “The people of Baltimore may have lost hope, Thiru hasn’t. Elected officials vanish after elections, Thiru hasn’t. Politicians quit after a defeat, Thiru hasn’t. That means a lot to people here in Baltimore.”

McCarthy also noted key political advantages Vignarajah brought as he enters the race. “Over the past four years, Thiru has earned the people’s trust. He shows up every day, shaping and sharing stories of hope and redemption. He bridges race and class. And he is not afraid to say what needs to be said. Never more than now have we needed a leader like Thiru, and honestly never before now have we had a leader like Thiru.” 

McCarthy, who was also the editor-in-chief of AFRO American Newspaper and a radio host on WYPR, recently stepped down from WEAA 88.9 FM to join Vignarajah’s team.

Vignarajah filed at the Baltimore City Board of Elections, 417 E. Lafayette St., Benton Office Building, Room 129, and briefly addressed the press afterward.  

Joining him in support were his parents and sister (Krish Vignarajah), former Councilwoman Rikki Spector, former Senator Barbara Robinson, former local NAACP president Marvin “Doc” Cheatham, and several relatives of murder victims including Al and Mary Wroblewski and Liza Holley.

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Paid for by Thiru Vignarajah for Baltimore, Treasurer Usman Suleman

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