Marilyn J. Mosby, a former assistant state's attorney in Baltimore and the wife of City Councilman Nick Mosby, announced Monday she plans to challenge State's Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein by running to become the city's top prosecutor.
In announcing her run outside the Clarence M. Mitchell Jr. Courthouse, Mosby spoke of violence in Baltimore that has grown out of control. She said Bernstein has proved ineffectual at making significant change.
"We are angered and frustrated by what we see," said Mosby, 33, a resident of Reservoir Hill. "We wonder if our children are safe outside of our homes. We wonder if we're safe inside of our homes."
A civil litigator who grew up in Boston, Mosby was a city prosecutor for six years. Appearing with her husband and two daughters — Nylyn, 4, and Aniyah, 2 — Mosby pointed to an 80 percent conviction rate during her time as an assistant state's attorney.
Her announcement came after a weekend in Baltimore in which eight were killed and 20 shot.
Mosby said Bernstein should be doing more to keep violent criminals off the street and that he is not connected enough to the community.
She said she was undeterred by Bernstein's ability to raise campaign funds. When he unseated longtime top prosecutor Patricia C. Jessamy in 2010, Bernstein raised more than $200,000.
"I'm very optimistic about fundraising," Mosby said. "At the end of the day, it's not about money. My message is we're in a state of crisis. We have to do something different. What's happening in the state's attorney's office is not acceptable. They're not getting convictions."
Mark Cheshire, a spokesman for the state's attorney's office, said Bernstein would have no comment on her remarks.
"He is focused on is his work to make Baltimore a safer city for all and not on an election that is a year off," he said.
Several dozen people attended Mosby's announcement, including council members Brandon Scott and Helen Holton.
"I've not seen marked improvement in the state's attorney's office over what the last state's attorney was able to do," Holton said. "Am I hopeful that I'll see it soon? No. So maybe it is time for a change."
Mosby and her husband frequently organize "Enough is Enough" peace walks in West Baltimore. In introducing his wife, Nick Mosby called her "an incredible woman who's been my rock."
He said she "turned down corporate jobs from across the country and decided to become a prosecutor, something she always wanted to do and something she did at a very high level."
Mosby has launched a campaign website, marilynmosby.com, which includes a link to donate money to her campaign committee.
"The police are doing their jobs. The judges are doing their jobs," she said. "The only person that's not doing his job is the state's attorney."
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