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Mosby defeats Bernstein in Baltimore prosecutor’s primary

Daily Record Staff//June 25, 2014

Mosby defeats Bernstein in Baltimore prosecutor’s primary

By Daily Record Staff

//June 25, 2014

Marilyn J. Mosby pulled off an upset win against incumbent Gregg L. Bernstein in the Democratic primary for Baltimore City State’s Attorney.

Bernstein conceded defeat late Tuesday night when unofficial results showed him trailing Mosby significantly. Early Wednesday morning, results from all precincts showed that  Mosby won by 55 percent to 45 percent.

Mosby, an assistant state’s attorney from 2005 to 2012, has been a litigator for Liberty Mutual Insurance since leaving the prosecutor’s office.

Mosby, 34, told The Daily Record in May that the “traditional approach to crime fighting in Baltimore has failed” and that one of her first priorities would be join forces with the Baltimore Police Department “to effectively manage and target the violent repeat offender list.” She also vowed to improve the office’s relationship with the community, saying he had created a “culture of mistrust.”

She will face Russell A. Neverdon Sr., an independent candidate, in the general election in November. Neverdon is an attorney in private practice in Baltimore.

Bernstein, 58, defeated longtime incumbent Patricia C. Jessamy in 2010.  An assistant U.S. attorney from 1987 to 1991, he went into private practice and was a partner at Zuckerman Spaeder LLP in Baltimore from 2004-2010.

Bernstein reorganized the office, consolidating its prosecutors from dispersed locations throughout the city’s courthouses into rented space in the SunTrust building in downtown Baltimore. He also fostered close ties with the Baltimore Police Department, which Mosby used as a point of attack in recent weeks.

After that, Bernstein’s generally positive campaign turned sharper, questioning Mosby’s level of prosecutorial experience and noting that she now works for an insurance company. Bernstein’s campaign also filed a complaint over a Mosby mailer that showed it was paid for by her husband’s campaign. Mosby is married to Baltimore City Councilman Nick J. Mosby, but his campaign had already maxed out its contributions to hers. The Mosbys said the authority line was an error that crept in because the same company produces materials for both of them.

In campaign reports filed at the end of May, Bernstein reported having almost $450,000 on hand as of May 20. By mid-June, according to the Baltimore Sun, he had raised more than three times as much as Mosby’s $200,000.

Bernstein drew support from the legal community and well-known figures like U.S. Rep.  C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger. Mosby’s supporters included Jessamy, former NAACP leader Kweisi Mfume, former mayor and incoming University of Baltimore President Kurt L. Schmoke, and University of Maryland law professor Larry S. Gibson.


Mosby’s Platform at a Glance

The Daily Record sent all three candidates a list of questions about their goals and platforms last month. Marilyn Mosby’s responses are below.

  • Strategic violent repeat offender coordination – Within the first 100 days of office, I will have a comprehensive process to manage violent repeat offender list that is mutually agreed upon by the State’s Attorney’s Office and Baltimore Police Department
  • Truth in sentencing – I will continue to push for strengthening the total percentage of actual time served for violent crimes
  • Sexual assault legislation – I successfully worked to get legislation introduced (HB 1528) that would bring Maryland law in line with federal statutes so that sexual assault victims have a fair opportunity to receive justice
  • Victim/witness services unit – Create a victim/witness services unit that will transform the way the State’s Attorney’s Office interacts with victims, witnesses, and the general public
  • Transparency and innovation – I will make case dispositions publicly available and easily searchable and accessible. Baltimore [also] should be a welcoming environment for thought leaders and researchers in the field of criminal justice
  • “Back on Track” pilot program – Pilot program designed to introduce young drug offenders to the possibilities of engaging in a “legitimate” line of work in an effort to reduce recidivism rates and strengthen communities by increasing access to education and employment


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