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Political Notebook: 'Just a Friend' rapper headlining Ulman fundraiser

ElectionsBiz MarkieRepublican PartyKen UlmanDemocratic Party

Donors at Howard County Executive Ken Ulman's May 10 fundraiser in Fulton will not be the only people meeting rapper and DJ Biz Markie. Ulman, too, for the first time will meet the artist behind the famous comedic hip hop song, "Just a Friend."

"I've got 'You say he's just a friend' forever ingrained in my brain," Ulman said, quoting Biz Markie's 1989 hit.

Ulman said he has never met Biz Markie, and that the rapper's scheduled appearance at the fundraiser was organized by one of the hosts.

"I didn't even know that he lived in Howard County," Ulman said. Biz Markie, whose real name is Marcel Hall, lives in North Laurel and does events around the region, he said.

Ulman said he typically doesn't have much direct involvement in planning his fundraisers, which have become more frequent over the past year.

However, his "good friend" and Baltimore native Kevin Liles, the former president of Def Jam Recordings who currently lives in New York, will also be headlining the May 10 fundraiser, a black-and-white attire affair being held at the Maple Lawn Clubhouse in Fulton from 7 to 9 p.m.

Ulman, a Democrat who is term-limited from running for county executive again, has held several fundraisers recently. Though he has not announced his plans for 2014, it is widely assumed that Ulman is gearing up for a gubernatorial run.

Last year, Ulman raised more than $1 million. As of Jan. 11, the most recent campaign finance reporting deadline, he had a $1.3 million cash balance.

Weinstein to run again 2014

Ellicott City resident Jon Weinstein, looking to rebuild a campaign account drained after he unsuccessfully ran for a District 9A delegate seat in 2010, held a fundraiser at his home Saturday, April 28. About 50 people attended, Weinstein said, including County Council members Courtney Watson and Calvin Ball, state Del. Guy Guzzone and Board of Education member Ellen Giles.

"It's a good start this far out," he said. This is Weinstein's first fundraiser this election cycle and the first held for 2014 by a candidate who is not an incumbent.

Weinstein, a Democrat who owns a consulting business in Howard County, has yet to announce his plans for 2014, but said he is looking at two opportunities.

One is the District 9B delegate seat that was moved from Carroll County to Howard County as a part of the state legislative redistricting process earlier this year. Spanning most of Ellicott City, which contains a mix of Democrats, Republicans and Independents, the new District 9B is being eyed by both political parties.

Weinstein said he does have some qualms about running for the legislature after watching the Democratic majority fail to adopt a balanced budget before the end of the 2012 session.

"My primary thought was 'Wow, do I want to join a group that's not functioning the way it should be?' " he said, but added his desire to turn things around is a reason to seek state office.

If he chooses to run for the House of Delegates again, Weinstein would have it easier than in 2010, his first attempt at elected office, when he had to run in District 9A, which includes the traditionally conservative parts of western Howard.

Weinstein earned 20 percent of the vote in 2010, losing to incumbent Republicans Gail Bates and Warren Miller, who earned 30.5 percent and 28 percent of the vote respectively.

The other Democrat in the race, Ellicott City resident Maryann Maher, earned 21.5 percent of the vote. Maher has closed her campaign finance account, a sign she is unlikely to run again in 2014.

The other opportunity for Weinstein is the potential opening of the District 1 County Council seat, where incumbent Watson, an Ellicott City Democrat, is expected to run for county executive in 2014.

Compared to the seemingly dysfunctional legislature, Weinstein said working on the council seems to be "a much more collegial or cooperative equation."

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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