The Glover Report: The Political Rising of Minorities in Majority-Minority Communities

(Photo) Ruben Amaya is running for House of Delegates in the 10th district, which includes the Liberty Rd. corridor.

By Doni Glover, Publisher
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(BALTIMORE – April 1, 2022) – There’s scuttlebutt floating that the primary election in Maryland is still subject to change. Again!

At present, the filing deadline for candidates is April 15, 2022. That’s two weeks away. Yet, there is a possibility that this deadline will change again as redistricting maps are still being deliberated in the courts. Such uncertainty benefits Maryland Republican candidates, generally speaking. At best, such changes are a part of inevitable change.

Every time the Census occurs across the country, the redrawing of political maps becomes the key issue for a lot of people who seem like they fear some imaginary loss of perceived power. Some call it the browning of America. Republicans seem to express the most concern about this redistricting process in Maryland, a 2-to-1 Democratic state.

Yet, as my friend and colleague Catalina Byrd points out, Maryland is purple. A Republican governor has held the State House for 12 of the past 22 years. Prior to Robert Ehrlich’s victory in 2002, there had not been a Republican governor in Maryland in 36 years. So, what we see is a power struggle.

In any event, the political scenario is very peculiar right now. The Maryland General Assembly is still in play for another two weeks. Things are quiet but loud, you know? It’s kind of puzzling. For instance, with the current deadline nearing for candidates to file, there is a name or two that still remain unfiled.

In Baltimore City, all eyes are on Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. To date, she has not filed. While she and her family are dealing with her legal situation, she will soon have to decide.

Meanwhile, Attorney Ivan Bates (Bates ran against Mosby and lost in 2018) and former prosecutor and gun violence prevention advocate Roya Hanna have been joined in that race for State’s Attorney by the person most seen on Fox 45 over the past 3 years. He is Thiru Vignarajah. He ran against Mosby 4 years ago, and lost. Then, he ran for mayor in 2020, and he lost that, too. Now, he’s once again aiming at the State’s Attorney’s Office.

He’s doing the Brandon Re-Mix. Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott used this tactic. He ran for Lt. Governor of Maryland with his now City Solicitor Jim Shea after coming back to win the mayorship. Vignarajah was not so fortunate. With two back-to-back losses politically, what will make this campaign any different? That’s the question Vignarajah has to answer for himself.

In 2018, Mosby clocked nearly 40,000 votes. Bates garnered 22,619 and Vignarajah received 18,130 votes. Yesterday, Gov. Larry Hogan endorsed Vignarajah. But, is Hogan, the ever-popular chief executive of Maryland who may have additional political aspirations himself, taking a chance? After all, Vignarajah is not exactly a choir boy. Further, he really has no relationship with Baltimore’s Black community. He could be categorized as a political carpetbagger with no track record of service in the community who is only concerned with his own political career by any and all means necessary and who will step on anyone who gets in his way.

Better yet, how can I vote for a candidate who was created by Fox 45 despite FCC fair time violations? Vignarajah has been on television more than all other local candidates combined. This is ridiculous. So, the media is going to dictate who I vote for, right?

During the last mayoral election, this man was caught after hours by police while driving without headlights on a suspended license in an area known for prostitution. He said he was showing his lady friend around Baltimore. On Greenmount after dark? Had it been Marilyn Mosby, they would have already locked her up and taken her kids. This is the same so-called news network that follows one political couple for 80% of their broadcasts but yet elevate Vignarajah as if he is somehow Jesus the Christ?

Speaking of Fox 45, Vignarajah was slammed by a member of the Baltimore Police Department at a Fox Town Hall who found his actions on Greenmount Avenue that late night to be egregious.

And a few years before that, Vignarajah was captured on video trading state secrets for sex in an exposé.

To say the least, this is already a most interesting race to watch, certainly with much more to follow.

In Baltimore County, this news outlet has been particularly interested in the 10th district which includes much of Randallstown. With state Senator Delores G. Kelley announcing she is not running anymore, the Unity Team has emerged with Delegate Ben Brooks as their pick for state senate. As for the delegates’ race, that will be a hot one to watch, too.

One person who has not filed in the 10th is Delegate Jay Jalisi.

In Baltimore City as well as the broader political scheme in Maryland, both Vignarajah and Jalisi demonstrate a growing Indian political prowess in majority-minority/historically Black communities.

Even Wes Moore, a top-tier name in the 2022 gubernatorial election, has Aruna Miller as his running mate.

In addition to the Indian community, the Latino community is also growing politically. In the 10th, Ruben Amaya is making his foray into politics. He is running in the 10th state legislative district. By virtue of his last name, he’s listed first. This is an advantage in a tight race. We’ll have to see what his organizing skills are like, including his GOTV (get out the vote) effort.