The Chatter

​Venture Capitalist and Philanthropist Announces for Mayor’s Race

Greater Baltimore Committee chair David Warnock plans Nov. 23 kick-off.

The crowded field vying to fill the shoes of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who announced in September that she is not be running for re-election, just got larger.

David Warnock, a managing partner at the private equity firm Camden Partners involved in several nonprofit organizations, including the Center for Urban Families, announced Tuesday that he is candidate for the city’s highest office.

Warnock plans to hold a formal campaign kick-off event Nov. 23, spokeswoman Krishana Davis said, the details of which have not yet been formalized. Warnock, Davis added, will file candidate papers this afternoon at the Baltimore City Elections Board office.

The 57-year-old, who has never held public office, joins a plethora of elected Democratic officials—City Councilman Nick Mosby, former Mayor Sheila Dixon, City Councilman Carl Stokes, and State Sen. Catherine Pugh—already in the race. Other Democratic candidates that have filed include, in alphabetical order: Richard Black, Mack Clifton, Joshua S. Harris, Mike Maraziti, and Calvin Allen Young III.

One Republican, Brian Charles Vaeth, has also filed to run, and one Green Party candidate, Bonnie Renee Lane. One Independent Party candidate, Collins Otonna, and one unaffiliated candidate, Connor Meek, have also filed.

In making the announcement, Warnock, a Grand Rapids, MI native who earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Delaware and came to Baltimore in 1983 to began his financial career at T. Rowe Price, touted his successful business background. “I’ve been a Baltimore success story,” he told the Baltimore Business Journal. “I think Baltimore likes winners.”

In 2010, Warnock co-founded the 650-student Green Street Academy charter school, which recently moved into the former Gwynn Falls Park Junior High in West Baltimore. He serves as the co-chair of the school’s Board of Trustees.

In our September “Conversation Issue,” Warnock sat down for a discussion with Rev. Donté L. Hickman Sr., pastor at East Baltimore’s Southern Baptist Church, around the city’s ongoing struggles, touching on economic, criminal, social justice, and political topics (photo below).

“In the wake of Freddie Gray, one of the things I think we as citizens of Baltimore, particularly as opinion leaders in Baltimore, have to do is talk about what’s really great in Baltimore,” Warnock said at the time. “What are the things that pull us together—not divide us? And people of means need to understand that you can’t harvest the fruit of the city without planting seeds in different parts of the city.”

Warnock, according to a Sun story today, has three children and lived in Baltimore in the 1980s and 1990s before moving to Baltimore County. He moved back to Baltimore in December, purchasing a $1.7 million condominium at the Ritz-Carlton Residences.

“I think David’s decision to get in the race for mayor is a phenomenal testament to the passion for and potential of our city,” Hickman said in an email. “Mr. Warnock is a proven leader that brings a wealth of leadership and wisdom with his candidacy for mayor of our city. And I look forward to discerning through this process the leader that we will eagerly work with to transform our beloved Baltimore.”