Councilman Henry announces state senate run against Conway

Henry wants to address state issues including liquor regulation and school funding

Baltimore City Councilman Bill Henry speaks at a council meeting in 2009. Henry presented Greater Homewood Community Corp. volunteer awards Nov. 9. Sharon Guida, a Charles Village activist, ws named Volunteer of the Year.

November 07, 2013|By Luke Broadwater | The Baltimore Sun

Baltimore City Councilman Bill Henry this week announced he plans to run for the state senate seat currently held by longtime senator Joan Carter Conway.

Henry, 45, who represents North Baltimore, said he is running in the 43rd senate district to be address to address “important issues” on the state level, including liquor regulation and school funding.

“I love the job I have now … but I believe I can help even more in the State Senate,” Henry said in a statement.

During his tenure on the City Council, Henry has gained a reputation as an active and independent voice. He’s introduced legislation aimed at weakening Baltimore’s “strong mayor” system of government, called on the state to cover costs from Maryland’s tax bill errors, and opposed the $107 million in public financing for the waterfront Harbor Point development, arguing for a smaller incentive package. He’s also backed legislation to limit Ticketmaster’s so-called “convenience fees” and supported a billboard tax to help the city’s budget.

Henry lives in the Radnor-Winston neighborhood with his wife Ruth and their two daughters, both of whom attend Baltimore City Public Schools.

Conway, a state senator since 1997, is the chair of the senate committee on Education, Health and Environmental Affairs.

She said Thursday she wasn’t particularly concerned about Henry’s challenge, and believes she has a strong record that is popular with Baltimore residents.

“Anyone who wants to run can run,” she said. “You have to be careful and deliberate and you campaign.”

Last legislative session, Conway played a key role in advocating for $1.1 billion in construction funding for Baltimore schools and led a last-minute charge to delay the implementation of the stormwater management fee, which critics deride as “the rain tax.”

She said residents in her district remain “very disturbed and angry” about the fee.

“Not only do I work, I work hard,” Conway said. “My work has spoken well of the community.”

Former Senator Theatre Owner Charges State Senator Joan Carter Conway With Second-Degree Assault

November 06, 2013|By Colin Campbell, The Baltimore Sun

Former Senator Theatre owner Tom Kiefaber is accusing state Senator Joan Carter Conway of assault after an incident last week at the auction of his former home.

Kiefaber recorded a confrontation with the Baltimore lawmaker and posted it to YouTube. The video shows him walking outside the Orkney Road house and approaching Conway, who pushes the camera away before walking off with two men.

“I told him: ‘You can keep that camera out of my face,'” Conway said. “I went behind the house, then I heard all this noise, and I said, ‘Why are you following me?'”

Kiefaber filed second-degree assault charges Monday against the Democratic senator who represents North Baltimore. The state’s attorney’s office for Baltimore will meet with Kiefaber and determine whether it will prosecute. A spokesman for the office declined to comment.

Both Kiefaber and Conway said they will appear in Maryland District Court next month; the court date is set for Dec. 19, according to court documents.

Kiefaber said she slapped his face along with his camera. “The video speaks for itself,” he said.

Conway acknowledged pushing the camera away but said she didn’t assault Kiefaber.

Conway said the charge won’t hold up in court.