Nicole Harris-Crest grew up waving her dad’s campaign signs. As early as middle school, she was knocking on doors for then-City Councilman Kenneth Harris.
Decades later, she’s decided to run for his old 4th District seat in North and Northeast Baltimore. Harris-Crest, 34, said she was inspired by the legacy her father left before he was fatally shot in 2008 during a robbery outside a jazz club.
If elected, Harris-Crest, a Democrat who is now a top official in the Baltimore state’s attorney’s office, said she would focus on improving city schools, revitalizing district neighborhoods and reducing violent crime. The city has suffered more than 300 homicides in each of the last five years.
“We’re in a crisis right now with the level of violence we’re seeing. I know firsthand what it’s like to be a victim of crime," she said. “I’m excited to be able to carry on the legacy, to do good for people. That’s the main reason my father got into this work. That’s why I’m doing it, too.”
Kenneth Harris, also a Democrat, represented the 3rd District from 1999 to 2004 and the 4th District from 2004 to 2007. He ran for council president in 2007, but lost in a three-way race and left public life.
Civil rights attorney Anson Asaka, 49, said he’s fought for change his entire life and that would continue should he be elected. Asaka, who’s filed to run, wants to expand the YouthWorks jobs program and fight for more education funding.
“My campaign is about ending the violence in the city, educating and empowering the youth and eliminating vast economic disparities,” he said.
Logan Endow, 28, who’s also filed, wants to attack violence through a public health approach. While a student at the London School of Economics, he wrote his master’s thesis on violence prevention in his hometown of Baltimore. He works in the city school system’s Re-Engagement Center, which helps students get back in school after dropping out.
Angie Winder, a leader in the city’s Democratic Central Committee, and Mark Conway, who runs a nonprofit organization focused on creating a greener Baltimore, have both announced plans to run for the seat.