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Rain Pryor, an actor and writer, has filed to run for Baltimore City Council next year, seeking to oust first-term Councilman Ryan Dorsey from his seat representing the northeastern part of the city.
Rain Pryor, an actor and writer, has filed to run for Baltimore City Council next year, seeking to oust first-term Councilman Ryan Dorsey from his seat representing the northeastern part of the city. (Barbara Haddock Taylor, The Baltimore Sun)

Rain Pryor, an actor and writer, has filed to run for Baltimore City Council next year, seeking to oust first-term Councilman Ryan Dorsey from his district in the northeast part of the city.

Pryor formally filed to run as a Democrat on Tuesday, her 50th birthday.

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Nichelle J. Henson, a life coach, has also filed to run for the seat as a Democrat.

Pryor faulted Dorsey for not listening enough to his constituents and for failing to address their concerns about crime.

“It’s kind of, ‘My way or the highway,’ " Pryor said of Dorsey’s approach.

She criticized bike lanes on Harford Road that Dorsey supported as underused and an eyesore. Dorsey chairs the council’s new transportation committee.

Dorsey, also a Democrat, said Thursday: “I welcome Ms. Pryor, Nichelle Henson, and anybody else who may join the field, and look forward to campaigning on my record of legislative accomplishments and service to the constituents and communities I represent.”

The Democratic primary is April 28.

Pryor is the daughter of the late comedian and actor Richard Pryor, an Emmy and Grammy award winner.

Pryor said her parents divorced when she was 6 months old and she lived with her mother. Despite her father’s fame, Pryor said, she essentially had “a normal life.”

Seeking a life away from “all the Hollywood craziness,” Pryor moved to Baltimore — inspired in part by a story by the late science fiction author Octavia Butler featuring Maryland.

“It was difficult," Pryor said of her relocation. But she eventually found her place in the city’s theater scene, got married and had a daughter.

In late 2017, Pryor said, her daughter suffered bullying at Roland Park Elementary School. Pryor said her battles with school officials over their response started her down a road that led her to run for City Council.

“I’m listening to the people who have lived here for generation after generation," Pryor said. “We need to keep them here and invite new people to come and stay in our community.”

Dorsey was elected in 2016 to a four-year term, part of a wave of eight new council members that tilted the body’s politics leftward.

The coming election is already guaranteed to bring change to the council. Two members — Democrats Mary Pat Clarke and Ed Reisinger — are retiring and a third, Democrat Bill Henry, has announced he will run for comptroller.

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Several candidates have formally filed to fill vacant seats or mount challenges to incumbents, while other people have announced plans to run. Meanwhile, Democratic Council President Brandon Scott has said he is considering running for mayor, which could leave that office open.

Democratic Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young said this spring that he would seek reelection as council president, a position he held before being elevated upon Catherine Pugh’s resignation in May. But Young has recently said he is also thinking about running for his own term as mayor.

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