BALTIMORE — Long-time Baltimore City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clark will not seek reelection in 2020, her office announced Monday.
Clarke represents the city’s 14th District, comprising several Central and Northwest Baltimore neighborhoods including Charles Village, Hampden, Roland Park, and Pen Lucy. She has represented the district since winning election in November of 2004, after the city changed council jurisdictions to single-member council districts, according to the Baltimore City Council website.
“It breaks my heart in a way, but it’s time," Clarke said to WMAR-2 News' Brian Kuebler. "It’s time for our district and time for Baltimore city to benefit from the next generation of a wonderful, wonderful council district.”
.@marypatclarke on her decision not to run for #Baltimore City Council, District 14 in 2020. She says she has been in and out of elected office since 1975 and says it’s time. @WMAR2News pic.twitter.com/GQZBUBnK7j— Brian Kuebler (@BrianKuebler_) May 6, 2019
Clarke mounted an unsuccessful run for mayor in 1995, resuming her teaching career as an adjunct faculty member at Johns Hopkins University, UMBC and Maryland Institute College of Art. Prior to representing the 14th District, Clarke was part of a three-member delegation that represented the city’s old Second District, serving in that post from 1975 until 1983. From 1987 until 1995, Clarke was the President of the Baltimore City Council, becoming the first woman to be elected to that citywide post.
Clarke has lived on Cloverhill Road since 1967, according to her profile on the City Council’s website. She is the parent of four, and the grandparent of nine.
Clarke’s office did not say if she was pursuing any new political office or if the announcement marked the end of the 77 year old’s political career.
Read the full text of Clarke's statement below:
Dear 14th District Leaders and Friends,
For the past 15 years, I have had the honor and joy of representing our diverse and dynamic 14th District. Now it’s time for a new generation of City Council leadership for our district. So I am writing to let you know that I will not be seeking re-election for the City Council term beginning on December 8, 2020, a year and a half from now.
Please be assured that in these troubling and transitional times, I will continue to work as diligently as possible for 14th District neighborhoods and individuals and to see Baltimore City through to the stability, violence reduction, and educational achievement now evolving on Baltimore City’s horizon.
I regard the people of the great 14th as my extended and beloved family —- and always will. But the time is right for a new generation to assume leadership and responsibility in our crucial corner of the City. The person we elect will contribute ideas and talents to the most progressive and diligent City Council I have ever had the honor to work with. The time is right to make the coming transition of 2020 the most promising possible.
I write now, because the Primary Election for Mayor and City Council —- and President of the United States —- is just one year away, on April 28, 2020. And in Baltimore, that Primary determines the General Election outcomes in November.
Our 14th District voters and potential candidates deserve this intervening year to get to know each other. May God bless us all and continue to guide our paths.
Mary Pat Clarke