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Campaign 2020

Politicsby Mark Reutter8:23 amOct 22, 20190

Jack Young to declare his candidacy for mayor on Saturday

EXCLUSIVE: Announcement will come after weeks of vigorous fundraising among political allies and new-found developer friends

Above: This spot beneath a billboard reflective of recent Baltimore history will be the location for Jack Young’s Saturday announcement. (Mark Reutter)

Following several weeks of highly successful fundraising, Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young will declare his candidacy for mayor this Saturday at Charles Street and North Avenue, The Brew has learned.

The announcement is scheduled for 11 a.m. at 1901 North Charles, a vacant bank building with a faded billboard that bitingly refers to the 2015 death of Freddie Gray while in police custody.

NOTE: Three hours after The Brew posted this story, Young told The Sun he would run for mayor in 2020.

The building was last used as the Baltimore campaign office of Republican Gov. Larry Hogan and Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford during their 2018 reelection campaign. It is owned by Anthony C.Y. Cheng, a former Washington restaurant owner who pleaded guilty in 2014 to paying bribes to public officials to obtain taxicab licenses.

Young’s mayoral announcement is expected to be punctuated by an array of supporters and a drum roll of endorsements

Named Baltimore’s 51st mayor after Catherine Pugh resigned on May 2, Jack Young at first swore off any ambition to hold the office beyond filling out Pugh’s term, saying he would instead run for his former position as City Council president.

But within weeks of becoming the top gun at City Hall, Young was canvassing deep-pocket donors seeking support for a mayoral bid.

Young’s change of heart was partly due to his thwarted attempt to get Councilwoman Sharon Green Middleton to succeed him as City Council president. Brandon M. Scott defied Young’s wishes and was elected by the Council to the president’s office instead.

Since then, the relationship between the city’s two most powerful elected officials has been strained, aggravated by each one’s connection to a different political club.

Young, 65, represents the old-line Eastside Democratic Organization, while Scott, 35, is allied with the upstart BEST Democratic Club led by state Senator Cory V. McCray.

Because all local office holders are Democrats – a party with a 10-to-1 margin in voter registration over Republicans – the 2020 election may well shape up as a battle between rival party factions.

A Busy Month

Scott’s announcement on September 13 that he would run for mayor next year threw “Young’s political machine into overdrive, The Brew reported.

A below-the-radar Young fundraiser, held at Tiffany East on September 28, attracted hundreds of East Baltimore supporters and an array of municipal workers. Equally significant, Young jettisoned his longtime campaign treasurer, Keith Timmons, in favor of Martin F. Cadogan.

A Towson attorney and developer, Cadogan was treasurer for Martin O’Malley during his years as Baltimore mayor and Maryland governor.

Cadogan helped Young raise $235,000 last Thursday at The Bygone, a Roaring 20s bistro atop the Four Seasons at Harbor East.

In contrast to Young’s prior fundraising fare, money on Thursday flowed generously from such top-tier developers as Caves Valley Partners, the Bozzuto Group and McHenry Row’s Mark Sapperstein.

Also in attendance: Howard Perlow, founder of the Maryland Party where politicians meet and mix with real estate players in Las Vegas during the International Council of Shopping Centers convention, and Steve Sibel, Mayor Pugh’s ex-finance chair.

The fundraiser was co-sponsored by Bygone owner Alex Smith and his uncle, Bill Paterakis, a developer and president of Northeast Foods with extensive property holdings at Harbor East and Fells Point.

Mayor Young poses on September 13 with Alex Smith (far right) at the VIP Preview Party of Smith's new seafood restaurant at Broadway Market. Also shown: co-owners Billy Tserkis and Eric Smith and 12th District Councilman Robert Stokes. (Baltimore Snap)

Mayor Young poses with Alex Smith (right) at the September 13 VIP Preview Party for Smith’s new restaurant Choptank at the Broadway Market. Also pictured are Billy Tserkis, Eric Smith and Councilman Robert Stokes. (Baltimore Snap)

Overall, Young has raised about $300,000 over the last month, adding to the $599,000 cash balance his campaign reported last January to the Maryland Board of Elections.

The fundraising figure that Cadogan broadcast was considered a warning shot to Scott and to others – such as former Mayor Sheila Dixon and ex-police spokesman T.J. Smith – who are weighing a mayoral run.

As of last January, Scott boasted a $143,000 campaign war chest, while Dixon had less than $11,000. Smith formed his campaign committee on October 9 after resigning as spokesman for Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski.

“A lot of money in a little bit of time = much in politics,” texted one insider yesterday.

The filing deadline for local elective office is January 24.

April 28, the Democratic Party primary, will be the date when Baltimore’s next mayor, City Council president, comptroller, 14 Council members and several other offices will be effectively decided.

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