A fresh-faced, 31-year-old Democratic former teacher from Montgomery County named Bill Ferguson made history in 2010, beating a political institution—George Della Jr., the scion of a political family who’d been in local elected offices since 1976—to become the state senator representing Baltimore City’s 46th District, which wraps around the city’s economically vital waterfront. Ferguson, a first-time candidate, beat Della 59 percent to 41 percent—a stunning blow-out. In his first term, now ending, Ferguson accomplished a lot, getting through bills to help charter schools, increase government transparency, protect homeowners from losing their properties due to unpaid water bills, reform election and liquor laws, and help students better understand school loans. That’s an amazing record for a young freshman, and it’s likely not lost on Senate leaders as they consider legislators for key committee positions. That’s the kind of merit-based advancement that Baltimore’s leaders in Annapolis need to strive for, but few seem to aspire to. So, even though Ferguson took City Paper’s editorial judgment to task over a recent cover illustration, let it be known: We recognize quality even if it doesn’t recognize ours.