(Baltimore Sun) – Saying that his church is his first priority, the Rev. Jamal H. Bryant said Tuesday that he is bowing out of a campaign for Congress he launched just eight days ago.
Bryant, the 44-year-old pastor of the Empowerment Temple in Northwest Baltimore, surprised many by announcing Sept. 14 that he would seek the Democratic nomination for the 7th Congressional District. That seat is currently held by Rep. Elijah E. Cummings.
Cummings, an 11-term Democrat, has flirted with running for the U.S. Senate seat that will be left vacant by retiring Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski. But in recent weeks Cummings has sent signals he would forgo that race — despite high favorable ratings in statewide polls — and seek re-election to the House instead.
Many observers of state politics were taken aback by Bryant’s decision to announce his candidacy for the 7th District, which covers portions of Baltimore City and Baltimore and Howard counties. Days after launching his bid at an event in Bolton Hill, Bryant said he heard from parishioners who did not want him to run.