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Baltimore County

Baltimore County Councilwoman Cathy Bevins announces that she won’t run for reelection

Baltimore County Councilwoman Cathy Bevins said Monday that she will not seek another term after representing the county’s 6th District for more than a decade.

“I have spent my life dedicated to public service, first handling constituent services for former County Executive Jim Smith then as a member of the Baltimore County Council,” she wrote in a letter posted to her Facebook page. “Now it is time for a new chapter in my life, and I am very much looking forward to the opportunity to focus on my family.”

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Bevins, a Democrat, found herself in hot water last year after moving to a home outside her district — a violation of the county charter. Bevins said she made a mistake and acted on erroneous advice from the council’s legislative attorney. To rectify the issue, Bevins said she moved into a rented apartment in the 6th District.

Bevins’ statement about her resignation did not reference the matter, and she did not respond to a request for comment.

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Bevins, first elected to the council in 2010, is the first woman in county history to serve as council chairwoman three times. Her term ends in December.

“Cathy Bevins has been a dedicated advocate for her district for years, consistently delivering for those she represents on the county council,” County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. wrote in a statement included in Bevins’ letter. “On behalf of our residents, I thank her for her tireless service.”

In 2019, Bevins was assigned police protection after voting in favor of an anti-discrimination housing bill that prohibited county landlords from rejecting renters solely because they use federal housing vouchers. Bevins, who had voted against the measure years earlier, received threats and saw her personal information posted online after the favorable vote. In an interview at the time, Bevins called the approval “overdue.”

In her statement, Bevins called her tenure on the council a “true privilege.”

“As a little girl growing up in Dundalk I never imagined that I would ever be a member of the Baltimore County Council,” she wrote. “It has not always been easy, but it has always been incredibly rewarding.”

In a statement included in Bevins’ letter, Councilman Tom Quirk, who already has announced he will not seek reelection, applauded her tenacity.

“We came into office at the same time and we are now leaving together,” the 1st District Democrat wrote. “I’ve always found Cathy to be true to her word and she never ran away even when significant pressure would come.”

So far, Democrat Caitlin Klimm-Kellner and Republican Tony Campbell have filed to run for the 6th District seat. The statewide candidate filing deadline is April 15.

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Campbell commended Bevins’ years of service but said that her issues with residency represented a lack of accountability in county government.

“That will unfortunately be her tie to the ending of her time in office,” said Campbell, a political science professor at Towson University who previously ran unsuccessfully to represent Maryland in the U.S. Senate.

Without an incumbent in the race, the door may open a bit wider for fresh faces, said Campbell, who’s running a campaign focused on improving public safety by bolstering the police department.

“It may make it easier reaching out to folks,” he said of Bevins’ departure. “But you still have to make your case.”

The county’s redistricting process also could shake up the race. Under the county’s new district map, currently before a judge after a legal challenge, Democrat Mike Ertel also would be running in the 6th District, rather than in the 5th District against Republican David Marks.

Ertel, who won a three-person Democratic primary in the 5th District back in 2010, lost the seat to Marks. Therefore, the prospect of running in a race with no incumbent is exciting, Ertel said, and the new 6th District lines would allow him to represent areas closer to where he grew up — Baltimore’s Hamilton neighborhood.

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Ertel previously served as president of the Towson Communities Alliance and on the board of trustees of the Community College of Baltimore County.

“I think we’re ripe for some new leadership in the county,” he said. “And I feel like I really understand a lot of those issues well, being on the community side of it.”


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