Pic by William Ford
Ken Ulman, a one-time rising political star in Maryland who more recently has been a key consultant and influencer in the state on economic development and construction projects, is returning to the political arena.
Ulman was overwhelmingly elected the new state Democratic chair Saturday morning, easily dispatching a 22-year-old member of the Baltimore County Democratic Central Committee, Edward Crizer III, and Vontasha Simms, a Charles County Democratic Central Committee member who ran unsuccessfully for a state Senate seat last year. He replaces Yvette Lewis, a venerated figure among many party leaders who stepped down earlier this fall.
Ulman received 160 raw votes, compared to 22 for Crizer and 10 for Simms. Under the state party’s convoluted weighted vote system, which takes population and vote performance into consideration, Ulman took 515.61 votes, to 87.25 for Crizer and 20.25 for Simms.
Despite Ulman’s wide victory, the 2 1/2-hour meeting was lively and exposed several fissures in the Democratic coalition, with Simms’ and Crizer’s supporters taking aim at the Democratic establishment’s stances on the war in Gaza, criminal justice reform, and the influence of big money in politics.