Cory V. McCray

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Cory McCray
Member of the Maryland Senate
from the 45th district
Assumed office
January 9, 2019
Preceded byNathaniel J. McFadden
Acting Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party
In office
November 11, 2019 – December 7, 2019
Preceded byMaya Rockeymoore Cummings
Succeeded byYvette Lewis
Member of the Maryland House of Delegates
from the 45th district
In office
January 14, 2015 – January 9, 2019
Serving with Talmadge Branch (D), Cheryl Glenn (D)
Preceded byNina R. Harper
Succeeded byStephanie M. Smith
Personal details
Born (1982-10-31) October 31, 1982 (age 41)
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseDemetria
Children4
RelativesDanielle McCray[1]
ResidenceOverlea, Maryland[2]
EducationBaltimore City Community College (AS)
National Labor College (BA)
Signature

Cory V. McCray (born October 31, 1982) is an American politician who serves as a member of the Maryland Senate for Maryland's 45th district, located in northeast Baltimore City. Previously, McCray served as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates and acting Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party.[3]

Early life and career[edit]

McCray was born in Baltimore, Maryland and attended Fairmount-Harford High School.[4]

McCray speaking at UMBC, 2012

Shortly after McCray's 18th birthday, he signed up for an apprenticeship program with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, where he later served as an organizer. The program gave him enough money to start investing in real estate, purchasing his first house at 20. By age 25, he owned seven houses.[5]

In 2011, McCray received an Associate degree in business management from the Baltimore City Community College and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the National Labor College in 2013. From 2011 to 2013, he served on the Baltimore City Board of Elections.[4]

In 2012, McCray and other community leaders formed the B.E.S.T. Democratic Club, which encouraged young people in east Baltimore to get involved in politics. By 2014, the group had more than 500 members.[5]

In May 2013, McCray announced his candidacy for the Maryland House of Delegates, seeking to succeed delegate Nina R. Harper, who was appointed to the House following the death of Hattie N. Harrison.[2] He prevailed in the Democratic primary, receiving 19.5 percent of the vote and coming third in a field of eight candidates.[6] He received 27.6 percent of the vote in the general election.[7]

McCray is considered a political ally of Brandon Scott. During his 2014 House run, he worked closely with Scott when he was a city councilmember to provide constituent services to residents he encountered while canvassing.[5] McCray was also a member of his mayoral transition team in 2020.[8]

In the legislature[edit]

After being sworn in on January 14, 2015, McCray was appointed to the House Environment and Transportation Committee. He is also a member of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland and the Baltimore City Delegation.[4]

In March 2017, Nicole Hanson, executive director of Out for Justice, filed an ethics complaint was filed against McCray, saying that she felt "physically and psychologically" threatened by McCray after he lost his temper during a conversation about the roots of poverty, causing him to throw a chair against a wall and begin using expletives. McCray denied throwing a chair, but acknowledged that his language and volume were unacceptable. He did not apologize to Hanson until he ran into her at a community event several weeks later. In April, the General Assembly's ethics committee found that McCray "breached the standards of conduct expected of a member."[9][10]

In July 2017, McCray publicly expressed interest in challenging Senate President Pro Tempore Nathaniel J. McFadden in the 2018 primary election, saying that he was "about 90 percent sure he will challenge his senator."[11] He announced his candidacy for the Maryland Senate in September.[12] McCray defeated McFadden in the Democratic primary election, receiving 58.5 percent of the vote to McFadden's 41.5 percent. He faced no Republican challengers in the general election.[13]

McCray was sworn into the Maryland Senate on January 9, 2019. He was appointed to the Budget and Taxation Committee, the Joint Audit and Evaluation Committee, the Special Committee on Pensions, the Joint Audit Committee, and the Spending Affordability Committee, and is a member of the Maryland Legislative Transit Caucus, the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland. He was also an associate member of the Maryland Legislative Latino Caucus from 2019 to 2020.[4] In November 2020, He was elected chair of the Baltimore City Senate Delegation.[14]

In October 2019, following the death of Representative Elijah Cummings, McCray said that he would give "serious consideration" to running in the 2020 special election in Maryland's 7th congressional district to fill the rest of his term.[15] He later said that he would not run for the seat.[16]

Acting Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party[edit]

McCray speaking at a Women's Diversity Leadership Council event, 2019

McCray was sworn in as the acting chair of the Maryland Democratic Party on November 11, 2019, following the resignation of Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, who announced her candidacy for the special election in Maryland's 7th congressional district.[17] He opted out of running in the election for the party's new chair.[18] During his short tenure, he alleged that the organization was overspending without strong financial controls under Cummings' leadership. To right the organization's fiscal health, he cancelled contracts with consults and recommended other fiscal controls to the Maryland State Central Committee.[19] On December 7, 2019, the Maryland Democratic Party elected Yvette Lewis to serve as party chairwoman again through December 2022.[20]

Political positions[edit]

COVID-19 pandemic[edit]

In March 2021, McCray joined five other senators in delivering a letter to Governor Larry Hogan that expressed "grave concerns" over equity of the state's vaccination program rollout.[21]

Crime[edit]

McCray was one of four senators to vote against legislation introduced in the 2020 legislative session that would provide tougher penalties for gun offenders.[22]

McCray introduced legislation in the 2022 legislative session that would require the Maryland Division of Pretrial Detention and Services to notify city police whenever someone is released on bail.[23]

Education[edit]

McCray introduced legislation during the 2019 legislative session that would expand food stamp benefits through the summer months to students who rely on free meals from their schools. The bill passed and became law without Governor Hogan's signature.[24]

Elections[edit]

McCray introduced legislation in the 2015 legislative session that would restore voting rights for ex-offenders.[25] The bill passed, but was vetoed by Governor Hogan; the Maryland General Assembly voted to override the veto on February 9, 2016.[26]

McCray introduced legislation in the 2019 legislative session that would require the Baltimore police to redraw district boundaries after each census. The bill passed and went into effect on October 1, 2019.[27][28]

In September 2020, McCray sent a letter to Baltimore City elections director Armstead Jones to ask for more dropoff ballot boxes to be placed in his district, saying that his district had fewer boxes compared to others and calling the placement of boxes within Baltimore "unconscionable".[29][30]

Environment[edit]

In September 2019, McCray voted against a climate debate resolution at the Democratic National Committee, arguing that his constituents needed him to advocate for greater movement on issues like justice reform, police brutality, and economic opportunity.[31]

McCray introduced legislation in the 2021 legislative session that would reform the Maryland Environmental Service to restrict future payouts, restructure the board and add new requirements, such as ethics training.[32]

Minimum wage[edit]

McCray introduced legislation in the 2019 legislative session that would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2023.[33] The bill passed with a full-on effective date of 2025, but was vetoed by Governor Larry Hogan on March 27, 2019.[34] The Maryland General Assembly voted to override Hogan's veto on the bill the next day.[35]

Policing[edit]

McCray voted in favor of legislation introduced in the 2019 legislative session that would create an armed police force at the private Johns Hopkins University.[36] He also introduced legislation that would require Baltimore police leaders to live in the city.[37]

McCray introduced legislation in the 2019 legislative session that would make the Baltimore Police Department a city agency instead of a state agency. The bill did not receive a vote over reservations from other city senators.[38] He introduced legislation in the 2021 legislative session that would create a commission to study local control of the city police and allow voters to determine if the city government should regain control of the police department via a charter amendment during the 2022 or 2024 general election.[39] The bill passed and became law.[40][41][42]

Taxes[edit]

McCray introduced legislation in the 2020 legislative session that would increase the tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products.[43]

Transportation[edit]

In 2021, McCray joined local officials in advocating for more funding to meet the Maryland Transit Administration's maintenance and other needs.[44] He introduced legislation in the 2021 legislative session that would increase funding to the Maryland Transit Administration to make the state's bus system, MARC train, Metro and Light Rail more safe and reliable.[45][46] The bill passed the Maryland General Assembly but was vetoed by Governor Hogan on May 28, 2021.[47] The legislature voted to override Hogan's veto during the 2021 special legislative session.[48]

McCray introduced legislation during the 2022 legislative session that would waive late fees and give Maryland residents the ability to set up payment plans for delayed E-ZPass charges.[49]

Electoral history[edit]

Maryland House of Delegates District 45 Democratic Primary Election, 2014[6]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Cheryl Glenn 6,446 22.3%
Democratic Talmadge Branch 6,120 21.2%
Democratic Cory V. McCray 5,624 19.5%
Democratic Robert Stokes, Sr. 4,867 16.9%
Democratic Kevin W. Parson 1,842 6.4%
Democratic Marques Dent 1,793 6.2%
Democratic Harry Spikes 1,414 4.9%
Democratic Aaron Keith Wilkes 738 2.6%
Maryland House of Delegates District 45 General Election, 2014[7]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Cheryl Glenn 18,197 29.3%
Democratic Talmadge Branch 18,058 29.1%
Democratic Cory V. McCray 17,123 27.6%
Republican Rick Saffery 3,078 5.0%
Republican Larry O. Wardlow, Jr. 2,805 4.5%
Libertarian Ronald M. Owens-Bey 2,734 4.4%
Other Write-Ins Other Write-Ins 117 0.2%
Maryland Senate District 45 Democratic Primary Election, 2018[50]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Cory V. McCray 7,735 58.4%
Democratic Nathaniel J. McFadden 5,503 41.6%
Maryland Senate District 45 General Election, 2018[51]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Cory V. McCray 29,608 98.8%
Other Write-Ins Other Write-Ins 373 1.2%

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wegner, Yvonne (June 12, 2019). "Danielle McCray, Baltimore City Council's newest member, is sworn in". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  2. ^ a b Broadwater, Luke (May 1, 2013). "McCray to run for East Baltimore delegate seat". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  3. ^ "Cory McCray". Ballotpedia. Retrieved September 7, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d "Cory V. McCray, Maryland State Senator". Maryland Manual On-Line. Maryland State Archives. January 27, 2020. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c Broadwater, Luke (July 5, 2014). "Hayes, Lierman and McCray new faces of city politics". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  6. ^ a b "Official 2014 Gubernatorial Primary Election results for House of Delegates". elections.maryland.gov. Maryland State Board of Elections. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  7. ^ a b "Official 2014 Gubernatorial General Election results for House of Delegates". elections.maryland.gov. Maryland State Board of Elections. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  8. ^ Richman, Talia (October 20, 2020). "These are the people Brandon Scott has chosen to lead his transition if elected Baltimore mayor". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  9. ^ Dresser, Michael (January 24, 2018). "Ethics panel finds Baltimore Del. McCray breached legislature's conduct standards". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  10. ^ Wiggins, Ovetta (January 25, 2018). "Advocate says lawmaker grew enraged, threw a chair during discussion on poverty". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  11. ^ Dresser, Michael (July 27, 2017). "Delegate Hayes, other young challengers eye Baltimore Senate seats". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  12. ^ Dresser, Michael (September 15, 2017). "McCray to challenge McFadden for Baltimore Senate seat". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  13. ^ Bailey, Deborah (June 27, 2018). "McCray's Upset of Longtime Del. McFadden Ushers in New Era". The Baltimore Afro-American. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  14. ^ Kurtz, Josh (November 23, 2020). "McCray Elected Chair of Baltimore City Senate Delegation". Maryland Matters. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  15. ^ Barker, Jeff; Wood, Pamela (October 28, 2019). "Special elections for Cummings' seat set; state Sen. Jill Carter setting up exploratory committee". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  16. ^ Broadwater, Luke (November 14, 2019). "Former Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake says she won't run for U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings' seat". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  17. ^ "Maya Rockeymoore Cummings resigns as Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party". WMAR-TV. November 11, 2019. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  18. ^ Broadwater, Luke; Wood, Pamela (November 14, 2019). "Maryland Democrats to elect party chair Dec. 7 to replace Rockeymoore Cummings". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  19. ^ Broadwater, Luke (November 29, 2019). "Maryland Democratic Party overspent under Rockeymoore Cummings, acting chairman says". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  20. ^ Wood, Pamela (December 7, 2019). "Maryland Democrats turn to prior leader, Yvette Lewis, to guide party through to 2022 elections". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  21. ^ DePuyt, Bruce (March 1, 2021). "City Senators Express 'Grave Concerns' About Vaccine Rollout". Maryland Matters. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  22. ^ Broadwater, Luke (March 10, 2020). "Maryland Senate passes anti-crime package, including aspects of Gov. Hogan's Violent Firearms Offenders Act". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  23. ^ Skene, Lea (February 24, 2022). "Baltimore police aren't notified when city defendants get released on bond. State lawmakers aim to change that". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  24. ^ Kurtz, Josh (May 28, 2019). "Here Is a Capsule Look at 10 Bills Hogan Allowed to Become Law". Maryland Matters. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  25. ^ Wiggins, Ovetta (February 25, 2015). "Freshman Md. delegate pushes bill to restore voting rights for felons". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  26. ^ Wiggins, Ovetta (February 9, 2016). "Maryland Senate overrides Hogan's veto of felon voting-rights bill". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  27. ^ Duncan, Ian (January 27, 2017). "Baltimore delegates endorse bill to review city police district lines". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  28. ^ Anderson, Jessica (October 10, 2019). "Under new law, Baltimore police must redraw district boundaries after each census". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  29. ^ Frost, Mikenzie (September 24, 2020). "Ballot drop box placement "unconscionable" says state senator, some places "neglected"". WBFF. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  30. ^ Frost, Mikenzie (September 28, 2020). "Ballot drop boxes 'are not really accessible to us' in Northeast Baltimore, says resident". WBFF. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  31. ^ Gaines, Danielle E. (September 12, 2019). "Most Maryland DNC Members Opposed Climate Debate Resolution". Maryland Matters. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  32. ^ Wood, Pamela (January 27, 2021). "Lawmakers, governor push reforms at Maryland Environmental Service after director's payout". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  33. ^ Wood, Pamela (January 25, 2019). "Support grows for raising Maryland's minimum wage, but not all agree. Debate could focus on how much — and where". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  34. ^ Wood, Pamela (March 27, 2019). "Maryland Gov. Hogan vetoes bills on $15 hourly wage, pre-Labor Day school start, Franchot's enforcement powers". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  35. ^ DePuyt, Bruce; Gaines, Danielle E. (March 28, 2019). "Dems Strike Back, Overriding Hogan's Vetoes". Maryland Matters. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  36. ^ Broadwater, Luke; Tkacik, Christina (March 7, 2019). "Johns Hopkins police force bill clears major hurdle with endorsement by Baltimore senators". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  37. ^ Broadwater, Luke (January 29, 2019). "Baltimore Mayor Pugh endorses bill in Maryland legislature to require police brass to live in city". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  38. ^ Broadwater, Luke (April 5, 2019). "Bill to end state control of Baltimore police won't pass this year after opposition from city senators". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  39. ^ Gaskill, Hannah (November 9, 2021). "Baltimore's Chief Equity Officer Will Head Committee Studying Local Control of City Police". Maryland Matters. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  40. ^ Zumer, Bryna (April 7, 2021). "General Assembly approves bill giving Baltimore control of BPD; voters must now decide". WBFF. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  41. ^ Stole, Bryn (April 8, 2021). "Baltimore voters to decide on taking back full local control of the city police department". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  42. ^ Opilo, Emily (November 6, 2021). "What would it look like for Baltimore to control its police force? A local control board is trying to sort that out". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  43. ^ Gaines, Danielle E. (January 30, 2020). "Senators Want to Tax Digital Ads to Fund School Reforms". Maryland Matters. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  44. ^ Campbell, Colin (January 11, 2021). "Baltimore-area officials back state legislators' renewed push to provide more transit money". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  45. ^ DePuyt, Bruce (January 11, 2021). "Central Md. Leaders Seeking Huge Infusion of Cash for Struggling Transit Systems". Maryland Matters. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  46. ^ Decker, Audrey (February 3, 2021). "Maryland lawmakers seek to lock in transit repair funding". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  47. ^ Wood, Pamela (May 28, 2021). "Maryland Gov. Hogan vetoes bills that would require COVID plan for next 2 years, tighten rules for emergency purchasing". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  48. ^ Wood, Pamela (December 6, 2021). "The bills to watch as Maryland lawmakers gear up to override dozens of Gov. Hogan's vetoes". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  49. ^ Simpson, Amy (February 3, 2022). "'The EZPass debacle': MD lawmaker introduces bill to address tolling troubles". WBFF. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  50. ^ "Official 2018 Gubernatorial Primary Election results for State Senator". elections.maryland.gov. Maryland State Board of Elections. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  51. ^ "Official 2018 Gubernatorial General Election results for State Senator". elections.maryland.gov. Maryland State Board of Elections. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
Party political offices
Preceded by Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party
Acting

2019
Succeeded by