It was billed as the first roundtable in the race for attorney general at the B.E.S.T. Democratic Club in Baltimore last Thursday, but only half the candidates showed up. Make that two-thirds if you count Sen. Lisa Gladden, who had to repeat to a hard-of-hearing reporter, “I am Brian Frosh” three times before he figured out she was standing in for chairman of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.
The year-old Democratic club on Harford Road in Northeast Baltimore was founded to “empower this new generation of young voters” and Del. Bill Frick of Bethesda urged the 50 people who showed up to “support the next generation of leadership.”
2014 is a “generational shift election,” said Frick, 38, “There may be as many as 50 new members of the House of Delegates.”
But Frick was sharing the stage with another 38-year-old lawyer and two-term delegate, Aisha Braveboy, chair of the Legislative Black Caucus. Del. Jon Cardin, 43, was a no-show at the last minute, said club officers, notifying them by email.
Frick, Braveboy take similar positions
Frick and Braveboy also shared similar positions on many of the issues club members brought up, from historically black colleges and universities to domestic violence, collection of DNA at arrest and the major issues facing Baltimore City (jobs and opportunities).
The generational shift comment was a clear reference to Frosh, 66, a committee chairman for a decade and a member of the legislature for a quarter century. Frick and Frosh also represent the same inside-the-beltway Bethesda district.
Current Attorney General Doug Gansler has announced he will not run for reelection and is expected to announce a race for governor.
As Frosh’s surrogate, Gladden was allowed to give an opening statement, but did not take questions from the audience, as the two candidates did. Gladden has been Frosh’s vice chair on the Judicial Proceedings Committee.
“Brian Frosh is a principles leader,” Gladden said. “He had to deal with a lot of issues important to all of us,” including same-sex marriage, repeal of the death penalty and gun control. “I absolutely respect Brian Frosh. I respect his intelligence and his values.”
Frick said, “The attorney general can be the great equalizer” and “can be a fighter for the underdog.” He emphasized his legislative efforts to curb predatory lending and human trafficking.
Braveboy said the attorney general should be “a strong, independent voice,” representing the interests of the worker, the consumer and homeowner.
“The attorney general must value law and justice over politics,” said Braveboy. She said she had been an advocate for young people with her legislation to raise the high school drop-out age from 16 to 18 and fighting the construction of a Baltimore juvenile detention center.