Kraft to run for Baltimore judge

City Councilman James B. Kraft speaks in favor of the bag ban.
City Councilman James B. Kraft speaks in favor of the bag ban. (Algerina Perna / Baltimore Sun)

City Councilman James B. Kraft said Sunday he plans to run for a judgeship on Baltimore's Circuit Court in 2016.

Six Baltimore Circuit Court judges are up for election next year: Shannon E. Avery, Audrey J.S. Carrion, Michael A. DiPietro, Karen C. Friedman, Wanda K. Heard and Cynthia H. Jones.


Kraft, 65, has represented southeast Baltimore on the City Council since 2004. The 1st District that Kraft, a Democrat, represents is considered the most conservative part of the city. Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, carried the district last year.

Two Democrats – Mark Parker, a pastor and Zeke Cohen, an educator – have already announced runs for the council seat, which Kraft announced earlier this year he would vacate.

Kraft serves as chairman of the council's judiciary and legislative investigations committee, among other assignments. He has been a longtime champion of environmental issues. He is the only lawyer on the council.

H. Mark Stichel, chairman of the Baltimore City Sitting Judges' Committee, said the group is "committed to the election of all of the sitting judges."

"We will work together as a team to achieve that goal," he said.