Comptroller Bill Henry has endorsed Zeke Cohen in his bid for City Council president, marking the first major endorsement of a challenger in Baltimore’s 2024 election season.

The endorsement is hardly a surprise — the two Democrats have been public allies since they served on City Council together from 2016 to 2020 — and comes just more than a year before the primary, which in deep-blue Baltimore is tantamount to the general election.

Henry announced the endorsement in a YouTube video released on Monday that also touted his own office.

“My job is to make sure that the city is spending your tax dollars properly. It’s a lot of work and a lot of attention to detail, but that doesn’t mean I have to be sitting at a desk all day,” he tells viewers during a stroll across The Big Jump, a pedestrian walkway that connects neighborhoods on one side of Interstate 83 to the other along 28th Street, a few miles north of Cohen’s 1st Council District .

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“I’m looking for people who know how to break down barriers and connect communities,” he says, before welcoming Cohen into the frame. “Zeke is the kind of leader who brings everyone in the room together and helps them finds way to move the city forward at a time where we really need that the most.”

Watch on YouTube

“Baltimore deserves leaders who build bridges instead of tearing each other down,” Cohen replies. “That’s why I’m so proud to have the support of my dear friend and our comptroller, Bill Henry.”

Cohen faces incumbent City Council President Nick Mosby. Cohen is armed with a war chest that exceeds $370,000, according to the most recent campaign filings. Mosby’s campaign account has less than $1,000 on hand.

A spokeswoman for Henry declined to comment on his plans for 2024. Henry and Mosby have also found common ground on city issues, recently teaming up to oppose Mayor Brandon Scott’s deal with Baltimore Gas & Electric to manage maintenance for the city-owned underground utility conduit.