Local attorney Chad Curlett has dropped out of the 2018 race for Baltimore City State’s Attorney, citing a crowded candidate field and an inability to amass enough money and support to make himself a frontrunner.
Curlett entered the running for the city’s top prosecutor job in January, making himself Marilyn Mosby’s first declared challenger in next year’s election. But in a note posted to his website yesterday, he revealed he’s decided to kill his campaign after just 10 months.
“Despite my plans to start early, work hard, and emerge at the beginning of 2018 as the clear front-runner to challenge the incumbent, regrettably, I have been unable to marshal the necessary resources to make that happen,” the statement said. “I am very grateful to those of you who have generously contributed to my campaign. I have been honored to have your support, and I cannot overstate my appreciation for the faith you placed in me.”
He continued: “I have come to the conclusion, however, that a crowded field favors the incumbent. In the interest of allowing a better opportunity for a qualified challenger to prevail in the election, I am ending my campaign.”
Ivan Bates, a former city prosecutor-turned prominent defense attorney, is also running for state’s attorney, as is Thiru Vignarajah, a former Maryland deputy attorney general now working for the sprawling global law firm DLA Piper.
Curlett had tried to scuttle Bates’ run earlier this year, suing to make him ineligible as a candidate. Curlett argued Bates didn’t mean state eligibility requirements, pointing to a March 30 Baltimore Sun story in which Bates was quoted saying he’d moved back into the city limits in early 2017. Maryland law requires a prospective state’s attorney in any jurisdiction to have lived there for at least two years before running for office.
Bates, however, successfully asked the court to toss the case out, since he hasn’t actually filed paperwork officially making himself a candidate. He has until Feb. 27, 2018, to do so.
State tax records show Bates owns homes in Locust Point, Reservoir Hill and Laurel. He bought the Locust point property in January 2016, and lists it as his primary residence.
His campaign hasn’t responded to an email requesting comment on Curlett’s decision to drop out.
Vignarajah is known in part for representing the state in Adnan Syed’s recent appeal of his 1999 conviction for the murder of Hae Min Lee. The killing was the focus of Sarah Koenig’s famous “Serial” podcast. Vignarajah’s more recent work was highlighted in a profile by Forbes.
Mosby, the incumbent, hasn’t formally announced her re-election bid, but already has a campaign website up and running.
The primary for Maryland state’s attorney’s races is scheduled for June 26, 2018.
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