Kenneth N. Oliver

Julian Jones, who is the first African-American Baltimore County Council chairman, could become a prominent voice in county politics

Julian Jones, who is the first African-American Baltimore County Council chairman, could become a prominent voice in county politics

When Julian Jones took over as chairman of the Baltimore County Council earlier this month, it marked a turning point in more ways than one.

He’s the first African-American to lead the seven-member council — the county’s legislative body.

But more than that, Jones’ success in navigating the tricky shoals of political Towson reflects the growing sophistication and political muscle of African-Americans in this suburban jurisdiction of 831,000.

True, the Democratic majority on the County Council usually rotates the chairmanship among its members. But that wasn’t the case when Jones’ predecessor, Ken Oliver, also an African-American, served on the council.

Jones is...

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