Early Wednesday morning Nick Mosby was still wrapping his head around the fact that he’d just beat a sitting member of the Baltimore City Council in the Democratic mayoral primary.
“It’s kind of surreal,” he said over the telephone.
The disbelief was understandable, because Mosby was the only candidate in the city to beat an incumbent in the primary, the city’s de facto election.
Mosby credited his win to the hard work of the political novices who made up his campaign.
Some believe the incumbent, Councilwoman Belinda Conaway, D-District 7, and her family, may have planted the seeds of Mosby’s victory.
Blogger Adam Meister, who supported Mosby, said he believes the residency issues and property tax questions related to Belinda Conaway and her family played a role in Mosby's upset victory.
"The lawsuit was the main thing. That was the straw that broke the camel's back," said Meister, who was sued by Belinda Conaway for $21 million.
Meister produced documents that brought into question Belinda Conaway’s residency. The councilwoman claimed the Randallstown home as her principal residence, according to Meister's report. The designation may have allowed her and her husband to collect tax credits to which they were not otherwise entitled.
In official records, Frank Conaway Sr., Frank Conaway Jr. and Belinda Conaway claim the same house, 3210 Liberty Ave., as their official residence. But Conaway and her husband signed documents claiming that they lived in a home in Baltimore County.
To compound the problems, Conaway sued Meister for $21 million, bringing the residency issue even more attention before the lawsuit was thrown out of court.
The Baltimore Sun reported that Frank Conaway and his wife may have improperly claimed tax credits on a home that was not their primary residence.
Conaway comes from what passes as a political dynasty in Baltimore. Her father is Clerk of the Circuit Court Frank Conaway Sr., a perennial candidate for mayor; her brother is Del. Frank Conaway Jr.; and her stepmother is Register of Wills Mary Conaway.
But Belinda Conaway and her family’s political acumen have been overshadowed by several controversies.
Del. Frank Conaway Jr. faced accusations of mental illness and domestic violence. He also published the book Baptist Gnostic Christian Eubonic Kundalinion Spiritual Ki Do Hermeneutic Metaphysics: The Word: Hermeneutics.
Also during the elections, The Four Bears Slate, which has been used to fund the campaigns of the Conaway family, reported anonymous donations on its campaign finance report, which is prohibited under state law.