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A sensible choice for Ellicott Council seat

Brian Meyer is reporting that the Council majority has settled on Curtis Haynes Jr. to succeed Brian Davis to represent the Ellicott District.

Haynes is not a politician, but rather a college professor and an economist.

That makes the choice atypical and sensible.

Think of it -- a Councilman whose district includes downtown and the waterfront who has expertise in economics. When's the last time we had that kind of expertise on the job?

And, as a bonus, Haynes pays his bills.

And, for better or worse, depending on your perspective, Haynes gives the majority block that is expected to appoint him Thursday the sixth vote that represents a veto-proof majority on the Council. The politics of the district are such that Haynes may be well served by not walking in lock-step with that majority, however.

Haynes, curtisAs I've written previously, his credentials, and the backing of Arthur O. Eve Jr., made Haynes a serious contender for the job since the day he applied, along with the Rev. Darius Pridgen, who, besides being accomplished in his own right, enjoyed the backing of Grassroots, the mayor's political organization.

Firefighter Bryon McIntyre emerged as a serious third contender, finishing a close second to Pridgen in a vote of Democratic committeemenSaturday. He remains a potentially serious challenger to Haynes if he decides to oppose him in the special election this fall that will determine who will serve the balance of the term. For all we know, Pridgen, too, may make a run for it.

Given what's at stake this fall, with all the seats in the State Senate and Assembly up for grabs, you can expect the various factions in the Democratic Party to all run candidates to boost turnout. Party HQ will no doubt be behind Haynes, barring an unexpected falling out, and Brown/Grassroots will almost certainly field a candidate. And the field may not be limited to those two.

Haynes has a bit of a handicap, in that he's a political neophyte without an independent political base. That's not a major problem, so long as Eve and HQ provide the necessary backup.

Haynes' more-immediate challenge is establishing himself in the community and building as much of a track record as one can expect in less than a year. The majority that has selected him owes it to him and themselves to see to it that he succeeds. And that means, among other things, doing right by the Ellicott District.

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City Hall | Politics
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