A second outgoing longtime council member has endorsed a hopeful successor, with Mary Pat Clarke backing Odette Ramos in the 14th District race.
“Having worked with Odette for more than two decades, I can testify that she is ready-and-able from day one to bring her feisty spirit, collaborative approach, and years of leadership experience to benefit the 14th District neighborhoods and our City as a whole,” Clarke said in an announcement Thursday.
Ramos has been campaigning for the seat since the spring. A neighborhood activist, she serves as executive director of the Community Development Network of Maryland, and on the Democratic State Central Committee for the 43rd District. She lives in Charles Village.
Per her website, Ramos’ platform includes advocating for more funding for city schools, eliminating blighted housing stock, reforming campaign finance laws and changing Baltimore’s procurement process to help more minority- and women-owned businesses, among other causes.
She’s also earned an endorsement from Del. Maggie McIntosh, one of the 43rd District’s delegates and chair of the powerful House Appropriations Committee.
Also running for Clarke’s seat are Joseph Kane, an activist, veteran and president of the Waverly Elementary Parent-Teacher Organization, and Rita Church, the daughter of late former councilwoman of the same name.
Like Ramos, Kane has been campaigning–and fundraising–since the spring. He recently garnered the endorsement of state Sen. Mary Washington, another prominent legislator in the 43rd District and a rumored mayoral candidate.
Church, who ran for delegate in the 45th District race last year, is the only candidate to file official election paperwork so far, per state records.
Clarke, 78, announced in May that she’s retiring at the end of her current term in December 2020 after more than three decades on the Baltimore City Council.
A former teacher, Clarke was first elected in 1975 to represent what was then the 2nd District. She ran unsuccessfully for council president after two terms, but four years later won a three-way race for the post, becoming the first woman in Baltimore history to hold the office. She lost a mayoral bid to Kurt Schmoke in 1995, but re-joined the council in 2003 after being elected to represent the 14th District.