Baltimore Councilman Kristerfer Burnett will not seek third term

Councilman Kristerfer Burnett of Baltimore’s 8th District made it official that he won’t seek a third term in office, announcing his plans on Twitter this week.

His announcement is not exactly a surprise — Burnett has said for years that his second term would be his last as a councilman, a promise that left room for him to run for a citywide or state office.

But outside City Hall on Thursday, he said he’s hanging up his lawmaking hat next cycle. “I definitely don’t want to be an elected official anymore,” the progressive Democrat said with a laugh.

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Later today he plans to endorse Paris Gray as his replacement. Gray currently serves in Burnett’s office as a community outreach coordinator, previously worked at Wells Fargo and studied politics at Indiana University Bloomington.

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“A smooth and seamless transition is critical,” Burnett wrote on Twitter. “The time has come for me to pass the baton to the next City Council leader for the 8th District, who will bring fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to address the ever-evolving needs of our city.”

Help with public campaign financing in Baltimore County

Interested in publicly-funded political campaigns? Baltimore County is looking for voters to join its Fair Election Fund Commission.

In 2026, candidates for county executive and the County Council will have the option of going with public financing. The commission is responsible for figuring out much money might be needed for the fund and making recommendations to the county executive on fitting the fund into the county budget.

“Money should never be a barrier to running for office and we are thrilled to take this long-awaited next step to realize Baltimore County’s first-ever Fair Election Fund,” Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. said in a statement.

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The commission will have nine members: seven nominated by members of the council and two nominated by the county executive.

Applicants must be county residents and registered voters and cannot be current, future or past candidates for office; a chair or treasurer of a campaign account; a registered lobbyist; or a member of a political party central committee. Applications are due Aug. 31.

Filmmaker to lead new entertainment council

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore named Baltimore filmmaker Meryam Bouadjemi as senior advisor and chair of the newly-established Maryland Entertainment Council.

The entertainment council was created as part of a law passed this year aimed at boosting the state’s participation in the TV and film industry. The council is charged with assessing the state’s involvement in the industry and making recommendations to expand the industry here.

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In addition to Bouadjemi, the council will also include lawmakers and industry experts.

Bouadjemi is a filmmaker and producer whose work includes co-producing “Charm City,” a feature documentary that was shown at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York in 2018. (She’s also married to Moore’s chief of staff, Fagan Harris.)

The new law also updates the state’s tax credit for filming by expanding the scope of the credit and the amount of total funding available, from the current level of $12 million annually increasing gradually up to $20 million per year in 2026.

Pamela Wood covers Maryland politics and government. She previously reported for The Baltimore Sun, The Capital and other Maryland newspapers. A graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, she lives in northern Anne Arundel County.

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