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40th Legislative District

Location: From Northwest Baltimore's Lower Park Heights corridor to portions of Hampden and Remington, reaching southward to Mount Vernon and Midtown and southwest to Violetville.

Demographics: Adult population of roughly 93,000, two-thirds African-American and about 28 percent white.

 

Senate Incumbent:

Catherine E. Pugh

Campaign cash on hand, as of June 13: $149, 718.15

Background: A Baltimore City Council member when she first joined the General Assembly as an appointed 40th District delegate in 2005, Pugh won the district's open Senate seat in 2006. She owns a public-relations firm and is the board chair of the Baltimore Design School, a public middle school, and the Maryland Center for Arts and Technology, a nonprofit job-training outfit.

Legislative Record: As the Senate's deputy majority leader, chair of the Finance Committee's subcommittees on health and transportation, and chair of the Senate Special Committee on Substance Abuse, Pugh is known for legislating successfully. She sponsored 16 bills that became law this year, including measures to require cardiopulmonary-resuscitation training for public-school students and to establish a state Naturopathic Medicine Advisory Committee.

Campaign finances: Pugh's top donors since 2012 include HFAM MD Nursing Home PAC ($5,000); Baltimore City demolition contractor P&J Contracting ($4,000); Dynis LLC ($4,000), a Columbia-based information-technology company; Ralph A. Small ($3,625), resident of an Ashburton duplex; and Realtors PAC ($3,000).

 

House Incumbents:

Frank M. Conaway Jr.

Campaign cash on hand, as of June 13: Not Available*

Background: Though he chairs no legislative committees or subcommittees, Conaway Jr.'s familiar last name has been electoral success. His father, Frank M. Conaway Sr., is the longtime elected clerk of the Baltimore City circuit court; his mother, Mary Conaway, was the longtime elected Baltimore City Register of Wills who retired in 2012; and his sister, Belinda Conaway, a former member of the Baltimore City Council who lost re-election in 2011, is now running for Register of Wills.

Conaway Jr. won in 2006 after City Paper reported that his then-wife obtained a domestic-violence protective order against him, swearing in court that he was mentally ill and abusive, and that his campaign committee chair is a crack-cocaine convict. Last year, his estranged son and daughter pleaded guilty to drug charges.

Legislative record: Conaway Jr.'s hallmark is introducing enigmatic bills that rarely become law. In his first term, none of his 94 bills became law. In his second term, two bills—a 2013 measure to bring penalties for various crimes in line with prior changes in the law, and one in 2011 that upped the punishment for distributing Salvia Divinorum—were successful, but none of the 24 bills he sponsored this year passed.

Campaign finances: Conaway Jr.'s committee is essentially inactive, showing a balance of roughly $280. Determining who financially supports his re-election is a guessing game, since it appears to rely on his father's organization.

 

Barbara A. Robinson

Campaign cash on hand, as of June 13: Not Available*

Background: Robinson, who holds no leadership positions in the legislature, is no stranger to controversy. She and one of her family businesses, assisted-living healthcare company Self Pride, suffered a nearly $530,000 federal court judgment in favor of the U.S. Department of Labor, which successfully prosecuted them for illegal wage practices. A series of lawsuits Robinson and Self Pride brought against state health officials ended in 2011 when a court found no merit to Self Pride's claims that an inspector's finding of violations, including over circumstances leading to the death of a patient, amounted to race-based retaliation. Another Robinson company, the human-resources and transportation firm STAR Associates, has received nearly $2 million in state contracts since 2008.

Legislative record: Among Robinson's successful bills in her current term was one in 2011 that required the employer of the Self Pride lawsuit's target—the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration—to conduct regular evaluations of its inspectors. Another, passed in 2013, changed the way the state does business with nonprofits and minority-business enterprises, including STAR Associates. This year, she ushered through a measure creating a privacy-protecting program for human-trafficking victims.

Campaign finances: Robinson's top donors since 2012 include Pikesville-based Integrity Title & Escrow Company ($1,000); Bethel A.M.E. Church pastor Frank Reid ($700); STAR Associates ($600); the underground-utility contractor Tucker Construction Group ($500); and Banks Contracting Co. ($500), a Baltimore-based minority business headed by Kenneth Banks.

 

Shawn Z. Tarrant

Campaign cash on hand, as of June 13: $21,111.84

Background: Tarrant is a managed-care director for the pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Meyers Squibb. As the legislature's chief deputy majority whip, he helps marshal votes on bills, though he chairs no committees or subcommittees.

Legislative record: During his current term, Tarrant sponsored numerous bills that became healthcare law, including a 2014 bill easing health insurers' provision of preventive-care incentives to providers. His successful bills also gave the Maryland Zoo a liquor license; cracked down on illegal riders of off-highway recreational vehicles; repealed annual-report requirements for the Baltimore City school board; changed state janitorial-services procurement; and reformed Baltimore City public schools bonding authority.

Campaign finances: Tarrant's top donors since 2012 include Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. ($3,000); the pharmaceutical company Sanofi ($2,250); Baltimore pharmacist Allen Bennett ($2,250); King, King & Associates ($2,150), a Baltimore accounting firm; Johnson & Johnson ($2,000); and the home-healthcare company VNA of Maryland ($2,000).

 

House Challengers:

Douglas R. Barry

Campaign cash on hand, as of June 13: $241.66

Background: A U.S. Army veteran and associate real-estate broker with Long & Foster, Baltimore native Barry is active in the Medfield Community Association.

Campaign finances: Barry's campaign committee formed in February and has been funded by himself ($225) and his campaign treasurer, Gary Sever ($100).

 

Marvin "Doc" Cheatham

Campaign cash on hand, as of June 13: ($1,519.04)

Background: Cheatham, a retired election specialist with the National Labor Relations Board, is a former member of the Baltimore City Board of Elections who has been president of the local chapters of the NAACP, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and the National Action Network. After his election to the 44th District Democratic State Central Committee (DSCC) in 2010, he resigned upon moving to the 40th District. NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland, an abortion- and reproductive-rights organization, has endorsed him, and he's running with his fellow 40th District delegate candidate Bill Marker on the Diversity Team Slate, which had almost $1,200 on hand as of June 13.

Campaign finances: Cheatham's campaign committee formed in October, and top donors include the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 27 PAC ($1,500) and Ida Williams ($500), president of Maryland AFSCME Retirees Chapter 1, which also contributed ($250); Baltimore attorney Warren Brown ($300); Maryland Washington Minority Companies Association president Wayne Frazier ($250); and the Vulcan Blazers ($200), the city's African-American firefighters and paramedics advocacy group.

 

Quianna M. Cooke

Campaign cash on hand, as of June 13: Not Available*

Background: Cooke, a retired Baltimore City Public Schools (BCPS) educator who was principal of William H. Lemmel Middle School, is a prior member of the 40th District DSCC who lost re-election in 2010, and in 2011 ran unsuccessfully for the City Council's 9th District seat.

Campaign finances: Since 2012, Cooke's top donors are BCPS teacher Merlyn Mayo Bell ($200) and Milton Langley ($100), a retired federal government computer-systems analyst.

 

Antonio Hayes

Campaign cash on hand, as of June 13: $18,583.80

Background: Hayes, a longtime aide to former mayor Sheila Dixon who is chief of staff at Baltimore City's Department of Social Services, ran for 40th District delegate in 2006 on a slate topped by his former boss, ex-state Del. Salima Siler Marriott. Hayes lost, coming in just behind his slate-mate Tarrant. In 2002, he ran unsuccessfully for the 40th District DSCC.

Campaign finances: Hayes' current campaign committee formed in December, after his prior committees' violations prompted court charges against him for failing to file reports. Top donors include Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Maryland/DC State Council PAC ($4,000), Maryland Teamsters PAC ($4,000), Wylie Funeral Home ($1,500), City Union of Baltimore ($1,500), accountant Meneisa Hatton ($1,500), and Quintin Lathan ($1,089.42), co-founder of real-estate financing company GM Home Solutions.

 

Rob "Bobby" LaPin

Campaign cash on hand, as of June 13: $1,307.82

Background: A former BCPS teacher and U.S. Army veteran with a security-consulting business, LaPin in 2005 made a stab for state delegate in Harford County, where he was living at the time. His platforms often echo those of state Del. Heather Mizeur (D) of Montgomery County, who is running for governor. LaPin is in campaign-related legal trouble: Baltimore City sheriff candidate Donoven Brooks filed criminal charges against him in April, claiming he illegally removed a Brooks campaign sign.

Campaign finances: LaPin formed his campaign committee in May 2013, and top donors include The Horse You Came In On Saloon ($500) and Camden Pub co-owner James Patrick Liberto ($500), along with $1,138.74 in in-kind donations from Liberto and Camden Pub for a fundraiser. He has loaned his campaign nearly $13,000.

 

Bill Marker

Campaign cash on hand, as of June 13: $7,325.99

Background: An attorney who works as a Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation charter specialist, Marker previously served on the 46th District DSCC and has run unsuccessfully three times for Baltimore City Council and twice before for state delegate. The author of a "One State One Rate" property-tax proposal, Marker is running on a slate with Cheatham.

Campaign finances: Marker lent his campaign $5,000, and top donors include Israel Freedman ($500) of the Gertrude and Israel Freedman Charitable Foundation in Woodlawn and Marjorie Roswell ($125), a former spatial analyst at University of Maryland Baltimore County.

 

Timothy Mercer

Campaign cash on hand, as of June 13: Not Available*

Background: Mercer, a Park Heights resident, ran unsuccessfully for 40th District delegate in 2006 and for Baltimore City Council in 2003 and 2011.

Campaign finances: Mercer has not raised or spent sufficient funds to kick in the reporting requirements. (Van Smith)

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