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Annapolis alderwoman Sheila Finlayson running for fifth term in Ward 4

Alderwoman Sheila Finlayson, D-Ward 4, at a City Council work session in 2020. Finlayson has filed to run for a fifth term on the City Council.
Alderwoman Sheila Finlayson, D-Ward 4, at a City Council work session in 2020. Finlayson has filed to run for a fifth term on the City Council. (Joshua McKerrow/Capital Gazette)

Alderwoman Sheila Finlayson, D-Ward 4, has filed to run for a fifth term on the Annapolis City Council.

Finlayson will kick off her campaign on July 1 with stops at several locations throughout her ward and the city that she’s helped establish since she joined the council in 2007, including the Wiley H. Bates Legacy Center, Kenneth R. Dunn Municipal Pool at Truxtun Park and Annapolis Walk Community Center.

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Finlayson said she would use her experience to continue pushing for additional amenities and making sure the council meets all the needs of city residents.

“Over my number of terms, I have learned how to be successful at meeting the needs and getting things done,” Finlayson said. “That’s the bottom line. I know the right people to call and how to put people together and bring resources to the city.”

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A fifth term would allow her to shepherd two initiatives she successfully lobbied for in the upcoming fiscal budget, she said. One is a citywide survey to assess what services residents prioritize; the other is the creation of a task force to study merging some city services with Anne Arundel County.

The results of those endeavors will help the council align priorities heading into what is expected to be a difficult budget year in fiscal 2023, she said.

“You can’t cut staff and not impact services,” said Finlayson, a staunch labor advocate who has sought to protect city workers while on the council.

“The community has to say what they want us to cut if that’s going to be the case,” she said. “And if not, then we have to figure out how we pay for police and fire and recreation, and public works and the list goes on and on.”

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As she focuses on the city’s big-picture issues, Finlayson said she also has plans for additional amenities in Ward 4 over the next four years, including a new park.

She will have at least one Democratic primary challenger. Toni Strong Pratt, an Annapolis community advocate and Finlayson’s primary opponent four years ago, has announced she will run for the seat again.

Finlayson is the sixth City Council member to announce reelection plans. Alderman Fred Paone, R-Ward 2, is retiring after four terms.

The final incumbent yet to announce elections plan is Alderman DaJuan Gay, D-Ward 6.

With about a month until the July 26 candidate filing deadline, see who’s in, who’s out and who’s on the fence in the 2021 Annapolis election.

More information about the 2021 city elections can be found on the city’s website: annapolis.gov/1702/2021-Elections-Information.


If you are a candidate who is interested in announcing their campaign to The Capital, please email Brooks DuBose at bdubose@capgaznews.com.

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