Gubernatorial candidate James Shea selects Baltimore City Councilman as his running mate

Maryland gubernatorial candidate James Shea has chosen Brandon Scott, a Baltimore City Council member, as his running mate in the crowded Democratic primary.

Scott, 33, the chairman of the Public Safety Committee, has been a member of the council since December 2011 and is widely seen as a young rising star in city politics.

Shea is scheduled to make an official announcement Thursday afternoon in Baltimore.

The selection gives generational balance to Shea’s ticket but, with both candidates from the Baltimore area, it does not offer the geographical balance that gubernatorial candidates often seek.

Scott, who has become the City Council’s most vocal critic of the city’s response to the escalating violence, previously served as a community organizer with Big Brothers and Big Sisters and as a representative on the board of the College Bound Foundation.

Shea, 66, an attorney, is the former chair of the Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland and of Venable law firm.

A longtime Democratic fundraiser, Shea last month reported a total of $2 million in campaign donations, including $500,000 he contributed to himself. He was one of two candidates who had seven figures in the bank at the start of the year (the other was Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz).

Scott is the second lieutenant governor candidate named in the Democratic race so far. In November, Ben Jealous selected Susan W. Turnbull, a former vice chair of the Democratic National Committee and former chair of the state Democratic Party, as his running mate.

The other candidates — Kamenetz, tech entrepreneur Alec Ross, state Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. (D-Montgomery), Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III and former Michelle Obama aide Krishanti Vignarajah — must choose their running mates by the Feb. 27 filing deadline.

Gov. Larry Hogan (R) plans to keep Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford (R) on his ticket.

The primary is June 26.

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