Catonsville resident enters race in District 44B
By Julie Baughman, [email protected]
A third Baltimore County man has entered the race for one of two spots to represent District 44B, which includes Catonsville, in the House of Delegates.
Charles Sydnor, a senior attorney at Enterprise Community Partners, in Columbia, will join Catonsville resident Pat Young and Windsor Mill resident Rainier Harvey in the race to fill the open seats in the House.
Sydnor III, a 39-year-old Catonsville resident, said he has always wanted to combine his interests in government and public service to pursue a position as an elected official.
"I thought it might be a good time to try," said Sydnor on the open seats, a product of veteran legislator Del. Shirley Nathan-Pulliam's announcement of her intentions to run for the District 44 state Senate seat presently held by state Sen. Verna Jones-Rodwell in the 2014 election.
Nathan-Pulliam has represented District 10, which includes Catonsville, in the House since 1995.
The state's 2012 redistricting, which goes into effect for the 2014 elections, shifted her into District 44, which includes portions of Baltimore City in District 44A and Baltimore County in 44B.
The portions of Catonsville now in District 10 will become District 44B. Nathan-Pulliam has publicly proclaimed her support of Harvey.
"I can't really say much about them (Harvey and Young), but what I can say about me is that, in my running, they (the people) will have a candidate to consider who is sincere and who cares about the community," Sydnor said when asked about his competition.
Sydnor, a Democrat as are the other two candidates, grew up in the West Hills community of Baltimore City and graduated from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute before receiving his undergraduate degree in history from Johns Hopkins University.
He completed his master's degree program in policy sciences at University of Maryland Baltimore County and earned his law degree from University of Maryland Carey School of Law simultaneously, graduating in 2000 from both institutions.
He has been a member of the 10th District's Democratic Club for over a decade, he said.
He has also served on a variety of advisory boards and community councils ranging from the Parent Teacher Association at Imagine Discovery public charter school — where his 6-year-old and 8-year-old daughters attend and his 4-year-old daughter will begin in September — and on a community board for the Red Line rail project.
"Service has always been a part of what I like to do," Sydnor said. "And I view running as a state delegate as another opportunity to serve.
"In fact, I believe it is a natural extension of the service I've been providing for most of my life," he said. "My main focus at this time is just trying to reach out and get in the community in 44B."
He said he plans to spend the next few weeks and months getting to know his constituents and hearing, directly from them, what the big issues are in the district.
"I know one of the big things, and I think this is probably consistent each year, is education," Sydnor said.
"The northern part of this 44B, you have parents who are concerned about school performance," he said. "In the southern part of the district, I know these past few months you've heard a lot about the overcrowding of schools.
"I intend on ramping something up within the next few weeks," Sydnor said. "I'm looking forward to being a voice in Annapolis on their behalf."