Category: Archive

Baltimore reels in a musical mayor

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Susan Falvella-Garraty

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Baltimore’s city government took on a decidedly Irish flavor recently with the election of 36-year-old Martin O’Malley.

O’Malley is the youngest person every elected mayor of Maryland’s largest city. During the course of the campaign, O’Malley’s position as the front runner was profiled in several major U.S. newspapers and magazines because of the groundswell of support he received from African-American voters even though there were several black contenders in the race.

The Washington Post ran a headline after O’Malley won the Democratic nomination with "White Man Gets Mayoral Nomination in Baltimore." Many, including the very proud to be Irish American O’Malley, shuddered at the appearance of the front-page bold print.

"That’s not what my campaign was about," O’Malley said.

For the man who quoted John Boyle O’Reilly during his acceptance speech, O’Malley’s race to become mayor of one of the East Coast’s largest cities, with a population composed of two-thirds African American, centered on public safety and increased prosperity for those who have not benefited America’s economic regeneration.

Never miss an issue of The Irish Echo

Subscribe to one of our great value packages.

"It’s huge, I’m really excited for the whole city for what we can do for those who have the confidence in me," O’Malley said.

During the campaign there was at one point more than a dozen, contenders for the post, many of them African American. O’Malley was accused of being an opportunist, benefiting from a black vote split. One of his opponents, City Council President Lawrence Bell, asked fellow black constituents at one point in the campaign to vote for a candidate who "looks like you."

Martin O’Malley, trim and preppy, has been preparing for a life in the political spotlight for a long time. He was drawn to the footlights too.

He is the leader of the traditional Irish band O’Malley’s March. It’s anyone’s guess what his new status as mayor will mean for sales of the band’s latest CD. His favorite tune on the release is "Wait for Me" about the coming to America from Galway of his great grandfather. O’Malley plays the pipes and guitar and sings.

Other Articles You Might Like

Sign up to our Daily Newsletter

Click to access the login or register cheese