Yesterday's primary elections produced few surprising results. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake overwhelmingly won the Democratic nomination, and all of the incumbents on the City Council retained their seats, except for one (full results). But that one exception is quite a story.
In the Seventh District, incumbent City Councilwoman Belinda Conaway seemed like a heavy favorite a few months ago, considering the strong advantages incumbents have in low turn-out elections (see every other race) and her strong name recognition: She's from the Conaway dynasty, which includes city court clerk and mayoral candidate Frank Conaway Sr. and state delegate Frank Conaway Jr.
But, earlier this year, blogger Adam Meister uncovered evidence that Belinda Conaway lives in Baltimore County, not her district, based on documents she filed claiming a Randallstown home as her primary address in order to receive a homestead tax credit. In response, Conaway filed a $21 million libel lawsuit against Meister. The lawsuit was ultimately dismissed when evidence was presented that Conaway had, in fact, filed the papers, validating Meister's claims, but not before the blogger incurred significant legal expenses and mental stress.
As a result, Meister, who won Best Rabble Rouser in our recent Best of Baltimore issue, in large part because of his investigation into Conaway's residency issues, vowed to do everything he could to ensure Conaway lost her seat. At the same time, Verizon manager Nick Mosby, a Conaway constituent, was motivated to run against her based on her residency issues, among other things. Meister threw his full support behind the political novice, stumping for him frequently on his blog and appearing with him at neighborhood rallies.
Ultimately, the message spread and the local media got behind Mosby, as the City Paper and The Sun both endorsed him. It's worth noting that in the picture (above) of Mosby that accompanied The Sun endorsement, Meister can literally be seen in the background (in the white shirt)—not just metaphorically, as was also the case.
It's fair to say that between Meister's relentless and fact-based attacks on Conaway and his support for and promotion of Nick Mosby, the blogger deserves credit for pushing Belinda Conaway out of office. We didn't call him the best rabble-rouser in town for nothing...
[photo courtesy of The Sun]