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Newcomer Mosby beats Conaway in council primary

In an election with few surprises, Baltimore City Councilwoman Belinda M. Conaway, the daughter of a storied political family, was soundly defeated in Tuesday's Democratic primary.

Political newcomer Nick Mosby, an electrical engineer from Reservoir Hill, bested two-term incumbent Conaway by 648 votes in the Democratic primary, part of a larger shift on the Council that increases the number of allies of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

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Conaway, 43, who had been dogged in recent months over residency issues and filed a $20 million lawsuit against a blogger she claimed had defamed her, said in a brief interview Wednesday morning that she looked forward to spending more time with her family. She ultimately dropped the suit.

"I don't have any regrets -- none," said Conaway, 43. "There's a lot of support for me and for my family. We remain positive and remain committed to the community. Life goes on. The world keeps on turning."

The defeat is a blow to the Conaway political dynasty, which includes the councilwoman's father, Frank M. Conaway, Sr., the clerk of the city's Circuit Court who made an unsuccessful primary challenge to Rawlings-Blake. Belinda Conaway's mother, Mary Conaway is the city's register of wills and her brother, Frank M. Conaway Jr. represents the city in the House of Delegates.

Mosby, who ran unsuccessfully for the Council in 2007 against William Cole, before Reservoir Hill was shifted from District 11 to District 7, said he saw an opportunity when Conaway filed the suit."I can remember the day I was driving to Northern Virginia and my wife called and said, 'Councilwoman Belinda Conaway just filed a $20 million lawsuit,'" said Mosby, 32. "My initial reaction was why would she draw more attention to this issue? We kind of sat back and watched it. I felt like if Belinda Conaway was going to be able to escape this residency issue, she was going to be unbeatable for years to go. I knew they had the Conaway name. but I saw it as now or never. If she was going to be able to escape this, she would be untouchable. It was now or never."

Brandon M. Scott, a protege of Rawlings-Blake who previously worked for the mayor's Office of Neighborhoods, won the Democratic primary in the Council's only open seat this year – an East Baltimore district that has been represented by Councilman Nicholas D'Adamo for 20 years.

-Nicole Fuller

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