Politicians of The Wire
The following are politicians, family members, and assistants administrating the politics of Baltimore on The Wire.
- 1 Maryland State Politicians
- 2 Baltimore City Administration
- 3 Campaign staff
- 4 Fund-raisers
- 5 Relatives
- 6 References
Maryland State Politicians
Clay Davis is a corrupt State Senator who is an important Democratic fundraiser. Baltimore mayors therefore try to stay on his good side.
Damien Lavelle Price
- Played by: Donnell Rawlings
- Appears in:
Damien Lavelle Price (also known as "Day Day") is an aide to Senator Clay Davis. He is a convicted felon who appears unrefined on several occasions, casually contemplating a home burglary at a public gathering (and in the presence of Cedric Daniels), and stating things such as, "Y'all tryin' to 'criminate me" while on the witness stand in court. He acts as a bag man in collecting cash from drug organizations. Price is arrested with a bag of cash after making a pick-up from the Barksdale Organization in season 1 but is released without charge when Davis pressures Deputy Commissioner Ervin Burrell. Price reappears in Season 5 testifying as part of the case against Davis.
- Played by: Frederick Strother
- Appears in:
- Season three: "Time After Time"; "Dead Soldiers"; "Homecoming"; "Slapstick"; "Middle Ground" and "Mission Accomplished".
- Season four: "Soft Eyes"; "Home Rooms"; "Refugees"; "Alliances"; "Margin of Error"; "Unto Others"; "Final Grades".
- Season five: "Unconfirmed Reports", "Transitions"
State Delegate Odell Watkins is a longtime major Baltimore political figure and a wheelchair user. Watkins is a member of the influential State Appropriations Committee with strong voter influence and is known as a kingmaker. Watkins is also the moral voice of authority within Baltimore politicians as he has full support of the religious leaders, looks to address the concerns of the citizens in an ethical and representable way, and is most critical of politicians prone to bribes and corruption.
In season three, Watkins backs Marla Daniels' campaign for the Western district council seat. Watkins believes that the council woman Marla aims to unseat, Eunetta Perkins, has become uninterested in the job. Initially, Mayor Royce resists, as Perkins was loyal to him. However, when he needs Watkins' support after a controversy involving Major Colvin legalizing drugs, Royce agrees to support Daniels. Watkins is disappointed, feeling that Royce should have decisively fired Police Commissioner Ervin Burrell over the scandal. Royce claims that firing Burrell though would only fuel fire aimed towards city hall given the reasoning for the "Hamsterdam" fallout. Watkins also connects Daniels with Dennis Wise, helping the former criminal to open a boxing gym for local children in her district.
Watkins becomes further disillusioned after working with Royce's political rival Tommy Carcetti to secure funds for witness protection, and asking the mayor to match the funds. The mayor ignores their proposal, and Carcetti uses this against Royce in a debate after another witness is killed in the fourth season. Watkins, Carcetti, and Marla Daniels all attend the funeral of the murdered witness.
Watkins splits from Royce once and for all after he notices that Royce's campaign staff only has Daniels on his ticket in districts where she is strong, and has her opponent Eunetta Perkins in the same position in districts where Daniels is weaker. He is also angered by Royce's immorality in supporting corrupt developers and politicians (such as Clay Davis). Furthermore, Watkins claims that as Royce has "gotten into bed with every developer," he has forgotten his roots by not helping the city's African American community and is covering it up by using Marcus Garvey posters in his campaign. Watkins angrily confronts Royce about his failure to keep his word and tells him he will no longer support his campaign, and instead sits out of the primary. Carcetti learns of Royce's failure to keep Watkins' trust through the police security detailed to protect the mayor as Deputy Rawls is looking to help the mayoral candidate who will do the right things with the PD. Carcetti appeals to Watkins to support him and become a guiding voice in his administration. Watkins' support on the campaign trail swings the tight primary to Carcetti's favor, and he easily goes on to become Mayor. Watkins' first piece of advice to Carcetti is that he would be unable to fire Burrell because of his race and Baltimore's African American majority of voters. Watkins at the same time agrees with the others in the administration that an out of town African American police commissioner should be sought as he has no confidence in Burrell either.
Baltimore City Administration
- Played by: Marlyne Afflack
- Appears in:
- Season four: "Boys of Summer"; "Margin of Error"; "Know Your Place"; "Misgivings"; and "That's Got His Own"
- Season five: "More With Less"; "Unconfirmed Reports"; "Transitions"; "React Quotes"; "Clarifications"; "Late Editions"; and "–30–".
Nerese Campbell is the Democratic president of the Baltimore City council. She is the only member of Clarence Royce's campaign ticket to win election to their respective position. Campbell first appeared drawing the attention of the Mayor's security detail officers. Campbell is the leading voice of opposition to Mayor Tommy Carcetti's plan to fire Commissioner Ervin Burrell claiming that a good portion of her constituency would be against this action. She is close to the ministers and politicians from Clarence Royce's era and frequently uses that influence as leverage against Carcetti. She admits to Carcetti that a gentleman's agreement had been in place under Royce whereby she would become the next mayor at the end of his tenure and that resentment over having been passed over for the office is the source of much of her hostility to his policies. In turn, Carcetti alerts her that she may become mayor by default if he decides to run for governor in 2008. When issues pertaining to the city school system arise, Campbell suggests that Carcetti go to Maryland's Republican governor to "beg" for the money to solve the $54 million deficit that the district is running.
In the fifth season, Campbell is seen to influence and intimidate several key figures in politics and the police department. When Clay Davis threatens to incriminate other politicians of the Royce administration when he feels ill-supported during his trial, it is Campbell who convinces him that it is more advantageous for him to go quietly. Otherwise, he would return from prison and have "nowhere to hang his hat" in Baltimore. She advises him to follow ex-Commissioner Burrell's example, who has been promoted to a more lucrative job after leaving quietly when Mayor Carcetti fired him over falsified crime statistics. Burrell had threatened Campbell to leak an FBI file about Cedric Daniels, Carcetti's candidate for new Commissioner, if the mayor fired him. Campbell retains the file and threatens Daniels in the last episode of season 5 to reveal it, if he doesn't comply with the mayor's orders to falsify the crime statistics. In the final montage of the series finale, it is revealed that Campbell becomes the Mayor of Baltimore after Tommy Carcetti leaves to become the Governor of Maryland.
Tommy Carcetti is the new Mayor of Baltimore.
- Played by: Maria Broom
- Appears in:
- Season one: "The Detail"; "One Arrest"; "Lessons" and "Sentencing".
- Season two: "Collateral Damage"; "Backwash" and "Port in a Storm".
- Season three: "Time After Time"; "Hamsterdam"; "Homecoming"; "Slapstick" and "Mission Accomplished".
- Season four: "Home Rooms", "Refugees"
- Season five: "Not for Attribution", and "–30–".
Marla is the ex-wife of Colonel Cedric Daniels. She always had ambitions for her husband to progress in the police force and his failure to do so contributed to the demise of their relationship. As their marriage fell apart, she decided to run for City Council, and is currently Councilwoman from the 11th District of Baltimore.
Cedric seems a likely candidate to receive a promotion when he is assigned to run the controversial Barksdale detail. Throughout the first season, Marla advised Cedric to build the case his superiors were demanding (quick and simple, low-level busts), but he is pushed to more elaborate investigative work by the detectives he commanded. He also meets Day Day Price while attending a function she drags him to, which turns out to be important for the investigation.
Cedric is banished to evidence control after upsetting his superiors, and Marla convinces him to leave the department and become a lawyer. Cedric is ready to do so until he got a second chance to do the kind of investigative work he wanted in the new Sobotka detail. Marla greets his decision to stay with the police with worry and skepticism, and eventually they separate.
Marla runs for City Council in season three; Cedric appears publicly in uniform as a content husband to support her. Marla had the support and guidance of State Delegate Odell Watkins, but was running against Eunetta Perkins, an old ally of Mayor Clarence Royce. Because of this, her husband's promotion to major is being held up by Royce. She eventually seeks a reconciliation with Cedric, but he declines as he had become involved with Rhonda Pearlman. As a way of appeasing Watkins, the Mayor eventually lends her his support and allows Cedric's promotion to pass.
Even with the Mayor's support, Marla is having trouble overcoming her entrenched rival at the beginning of season four. She attends the funeral of a witness murdered in the district alongside Watkins and learns that Tommy Carcetti is supportive of her campaign, despite her being part of Royce's ticket. Watkins switches to Carcetti's ticket at the last minute, and Marla comes with him and she wins the election.
- Played by: Karen Vicks
- Appears in season four: "Boys of Summer" (uncredited); "Soft Eyes" (uncredited); "Refugees"; "Margin of Error"; "Unto Others"; .
Jerilee Bennett was a key member of Tommy Carcetti’s campaign staff in the Mayoral election race. She helps to decide campaign strategy along with Norman Wilson and Theresa D'Agostino. She becomes a senior staffer in the Carcetti administration.
- Played by: Christopher Mann
- Appears in:
- Season three: "Time After Time"; "Dead Soldiers"; "Hamsterdam"; "Straight and True"; "Homecoming"; "Moral Midgetry"; "Slapstick" and "Mission Accomplished".
- Season four: "Boys of Summer", "Soft Eyes"; "Alliances"; "Margin of Error".
"Tony" Gray first appeared as a Democratic Baltimore Councilman in season three, working alongside his good friend Tommy Carcetti on the public safety subcommittee. Gray becomes disillusioned with Mayor Royce and uses his position on the committee to berate senior police officials including acting commissioner Burrell. Gray decides to run for mayor on an education platform; Carcetti encourages the decision, manipulating him to run. Gray hopes that Carcetti would join his campaign with a position as council president as a reward, but Carcetti plans to run for mayor himself, and is hoping Gray will split the black voting majority and allow him to win. This deception upsets Gray and destroys their friendship.
In season four, Gray continues his stalling campaign. Carcetti's deputy campaign manager Norman Wilson feeds Gray a story about the police department covering up the murder of a state's witness. Wilson rationalizes that Gray cannot win the election and has to choose between losing with 24% of the vote or with 28%, the latter of which would do far more good to Gray's career and political credibility as well as help Carcetti win the election by taking valuable votes away from Royce. Gray acquiesces, and his public criticism of Royce is integral to Carcetti's eventual victory in the mayoral race. Gray's last appearances in the show were attending church with his wife on the eve of the election, and voting in the election itself.
- Season four: "That's Got His Own" and "Final Grades".
- Season five: "More With Less"; "Unconfirmed Reports"; "Not for Attribution"; "Transitions"; "The Dickensian Aspect"; "Took"; "Clarifications"; "Late Editions"; and "–30–".
Michael Steintorf becomes Mayor Tommy Carcetti's chief of staff soon after he takes office. Steintorf counsels Carcetti to reject the Governor's plan to force them to expend the political capital they need for Carcetti to later run for governor in exchange for the capital they need to rectify the deficit in the education budget.
Actor Neal Huff joined the starring cast for season five. Steintorf continues to push Carcetti towards his run for Governor and their decision to decline the Governor's funding leaves the city with a difficult budget crisis. Steintorf is concerned that Carcetti needs to pick a suitable successor so that people feel comfortable with him leaving Baltimore for the Governor's chair. Steintorf thinks that Nerese Campbell's links to corruption make her unsuitable and suggests that State's Attorney Rupert Bond might be a preferable alternative. Carcetti and Steintorf's focus on running for Governor brings criticism from Norman Wilson and State Delegate Odell Watkins but Steintorf believes Carcetti's ambitions are typical of the world as a whole. Steintorf is pleased when Carcetti is able to fire Commissioner Ervin Burrell and supports the plan to replace him with Cedric Daniels in time. Carcetti and Steintorf reject State Senator Clay Davis' offer to smooth over the transitions in the police department in exchange for assistance in his corruption case. Steintorf is petulant when Campbell and the politically influential ministers use the situation in the police department to negotiate for political favors but Carcetti grants their demands.
Following the breaking of the homeless serial killer story Steintorf is instrumental in developing homelessness into a key issue for Carcetti's gubernatorial campaign. Steintorf is also involved in dealing with the budget ramifications of shifting resources back to the police department. Steintorf is responsible for pressuring the police department to provide a drop in crime to protect Carcetti from criticism and refuses to honor Carcetti's earlier promises to reform the police department. Once the serial killer is revealed to be fake Steintorf negotiates with William Rawls, Daniels, Bond, and Rhonda Pearlman to ensure that a thorough cover-up is put into effect. Rawls and Pearlman are rewarded for their co-operation with new posts. After the crisis is dealt with Steintorf renews pressure on Daniels to produce a drop in crime and order him to falsify statistics. When Daniels refuses Steintorf approaches Campbell and convinces her that Daniels will remain problematic when she replaces Carcetti as Mayor. Campbell intervenes and forces Daniels to step down and Steintorf receives his required statistics from his replacement, Stanislaus Valchek. At the close of the series Steintorf's machinations ensure that Carcetti becomes Governor.
Wilson is a former journalist, professional Democratic political operative and deputy manager of Tommy Carcetti's campaign in the mayoral race. He becomes Carcetti's deputy chief of staff after he is elected.
- Played by: Unknown
- Appears in:
Eunetta was the City Councilwoman from the 11th District of Baltimore. According to a commentary track, it was a running joke on the show that Perkins was never present at City Council meetings. Despite this, Mayor Royce sticks with her, due to her loyalty. Eventually, Royce agrees to support her opponent, Marla Daniels. Royce is seen supporting both candidates causing Odell Watkins to throw his support to Tommy Carcetti taking Daniels with him. Perkins remains on the ticket keeping the race tight, but ultimately loses the position to Marla Daniels.
- Played by: Cleo Reginald Pizana
- Appears in:
- Season three: "Time After Time"; "Dead Soldiers"; "Straight and True"; "Homecoming"; "Back Burners"; "Reformation"; "Middle Ground" and "Mission Accomplished".
- Season four: "Boys of Summer"; "Soft Eyes"; "Home Rooms"; "Refugees"; "Alliances"; "Unto Others" and "Final Grades".
Parker was the chief of staff and main advisor to Mayor Clarence Royce, organizing Royce's time and limiting access to the mayor. Parker relies on property developer Andy Krawczyk for large donations and assistance in fund raising. He organizes the mayor's re-election campaign including public speaking events with major property developers. He is also responsible for negotiations over debates with the mayor.
In season three, Parker is the first to see that Royce is politically vulnerable because of Baltimore's rising crime rate and urges the mayor to fire acting Police Commissioner Ervin Burrell. Royce resists, because he values loyalty and Burrell has always proved useful to him. When drug tolerant zones set up by police district commander Howard "Bunny" Colvin are exposed in Western Baltimore, Parker advisers that it would be a disaster to support them, despite a fall in the areas' crime rate. Royce entertains the idea of extending the experiment, but Parker eventually convinces him that this would be too difficult to explain to the public. Parker again calls for Burrell to be fired and Royce agrees. However, Burrell convinces Royce that he will deflect responsibility off of Royce, and expects to receive a full term as commissioner as a reward for his loyalty. Parker and Royce privately agree to fire Burrell once they win re-election.
Parker first appears quick to crack down on Burrell and Demper when key political figures are served with subpoenas for their records by the Baltimore police department in season four. He and Royce extracts an assurance from Burrell that there will be no further surprises from the department. In Royce's first debate, opponent Tommy Carcetti scores points against him using knowledge of the recent murder of a state's witness. The Mayor orders Parker to institute a series of measures to strike back against Carcetti, including disrupting Carcetti's campaign and bullying contributors into solely contributing to the Royce war chest, but Carcetti continues to gain on the Mayor in the polls. When Burrell reassigns the lead detective on the witness case this gives Carcetti, Royce's other opponent Anthony Gray uses this against him. Parker urges Royce to fire Burrell and this time he agrees.
Parker is dismayed when Royce alienates State Delegate Watkins, a key supporter with influence among religious leaders, by failing to support Watkins' protegee Marla Daniels. Parker desperately pursues Watkins to urge him to reconsider. This proves to be a turning point in the election race, and Royce is defeated by Carcetti. Royce and Parker later meet with Carcetti and his chief of staff Norman Wilson to amiably discuss the transfer of power. Parker is last seen discussing future prospects with Wilson, planning to either lead another campaign for Royce in a different office or, barring that, a "new buck".
Royce was the mayor of Baltimore, but Carcetti beat him in a primary upset.
- Played by: Brandy Burre
- Appears in:
- Season three: "Hamsterdam"; "Straight and True"; "Homecoming"; "Back Burners"; "Moral Midgetry"; "Slapstick"; "Reformation"; "Middle Ground" and "Mission Accomplished".
- Season four: "Boys of Summer"; "Soft Eyes"; "Home Rooms"; "Refugees"; "Alliances"; "Margin of Error"
Terry D'Agostino is a Washington-based political consultant and campaign fixer. She grew up in Baltimore and graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law at the same time as councilman Tommy Carcetti. In season three, Carcetti aggressively pursues D'Agostino to work as his campaign manager for his planned run for Mayor of Baltimore. She is reluctant to work for a white candidate in a predominantly African American city, but Carcetti convinces her he is worth taking a chance on. Once on board, D'Agostino was quick to plan a strategy for the campaign. Carcetti suggested they use his colleague Anthony Gray, who was also planning to run, to split the African American voter base. D'Agostino meets Detective Jimmy McNulty at a school open house for his sons and they quickly become involved in a strictly sexual relationship. The relationship sours after McNulty reveals his lack of a college degree and, even worse, his indifference about politics over a rare dinner date. It then ends abruptly after D'Agostino meets him under the pretense of wanting to start back up again: McNulty leaves when he realizes that she is pressing him for information about Bunny Colvin and Hamsterdam to help with Carcetti's campaign.
D'Agostino arranges for Carcetti to receive coaching on his public speaking. She felt that he is too focused on winning arguments and that he should put appearing likable first. When Carcetti discovers that a police district commander, Howard "Bunny" Colvin, has created drug-tolerant zones, D'Agostino saw an opportunity to attack the current mayor, Clarence Royce, and encourages her candidate to use it. He uses this to launch into an inspiring speech, convincing many that he is a political force to be reckoned with.
In season four, the campaign is in full swing, and D'Agostino works alongside new deputy campaign manager Norman Wilson. She encourages Carcetti to become involved in fundraising, forcing him to stay in his office until he has raised set amounts. She also shields him as best she could from polling data that did not meet his expectations. D'Agostino's strategizing and Wilson's hard work on the campaign trail contribute to Carcetti's victory in the mayoral primary. D'Agostino chooses the night of his win to approach him for her "win bonus" by seducing him. When Carcetti resists her advances she is bemused but respects his wishes. D'Agostino returns to Washington with a higher profile to work for the DCCC after her success in Baltimore.
- Played by: Michael Willis
- Appears in:
- Season two: "Collateral Damage" (uncredited) and "Port in a Storm" (uncredited).
- Season three: "Hamsterdam"; "Straight and True"; "Homecoming"; "Moral Midgetry"; "Middle Ground" and "Mission Accomplished".
- Season four: "Soft Eyes"; "Refugees"; "A New Day"; "That's Got His Own".
- Season five: "The Dickensian Aspect"; and "–30–".
Krawczyk is a property developer who is at least marginally corrupt. He discusses Frank Sobotka's union business with Major Valchek. He is working on a model of the prospective grain pier condominium development which Sobotka is against. He is later shown breaking ground on the development with State Senator Davis.
In season three, Krawczyk is revealed to be the property developing consultant to Stringer Bell. He is constantly trying to calm Stringer down, explaining the business to him, and is ultimately present when Omar Little comes calling on Bell for revenge. In season four, he continues to make campaign donations to Clarence Royce in exchange for assistance with his property developments. Krawczyk is also a regular fixture at Royce's fundraising poker games, where players deliberately lose (to get around campaign finance laws). Detective Kima Greggs personally serves Krawczyk, who does not seem particularly worried by this, with a subpoena for financial records, as part of Lester Freamon's investigation into the Barksdale money trail. He is shown in seasons four and five in scene's showing his political influence and trying to get "in" the new administration. In one of the mayor's meetings he is also revealed to be president of the school board, and takes no responsibility for the system's debt. There is some suggestive dialogue in the scene that hints he may be involved in the defrauding of the school budget.
- Played by: Megan Anderson
- Appears in:
- Season three: "Dead Soldiers"; "Homecoming"; "Back Burners"; "Moral Midgetry"; "Reformation" and "Mission Accomplished".
- Season four: "Boys of Summer"; "Soft Eyes"; "Margin of Error"; Final Grades.
- Season five: "The Dickensian Aspect" (uncredited); "Clarifications"; and "–30–".
- "Character profile - Odell Watkins". HBO. 2006. Retrieved 2006-09-15.
- "Character profile - Nerese Campbell". HBO. 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-15.
- "Baltimore Mayor's House Raided". newsone.com. 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-30.[dead link]
- "Character profile - Marla Daniels". HBO. 2004. Retrieved 2006-07-22.
- Ernest Dickerson (2004-12-10). "Final Grades". The Wire. Season 4. Episode 13. HBO.
- "Character profile - Anthony Gray". HBO. 2006. Retrieved 2006-09-15.
- "Cast & Crew - Neal Huff as Michael Steintorf". HBO. 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-15.
- Ed Burns, George Pelecanos (2004-12-03). "That's Got His Own". The Wire. Season 4. Episode 12. HBO.
- "Episode guide - episode 49 That's Got His Own". HBO. 2006. Retrieved 2007-03-30.
- "The Wire episode guide - episode 50 Final Grades". HBO. 2006. Retrieved 2007-10-17.
- "Character profile - Michael Steintorf". HBO. 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-15.
- "About the Show". HBO. 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-12.
- "HBO Re-Hangs 'Wire' in January". Zap 2 It. 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-07.
- Kelly Jane Torrance (2007). "Tuning In". The Washington Times. Retrieved 2007-12-07.[dead link]
- Joe Chappelle (2008-01-06). "More with Less". The Wire. Season 5. Episode 1. HBO.
- "The Wire episode guide - episode 51 More with Less". HBO. 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-22.
- Ernest Dickerson (2008-01-13). "Unconfirmed Reports". The Wire. Season 5. Episode 2. HBO.
- "The Wire episode guide - episode 52 Uncomfirmed Reports". HBO. 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-22.
- Scott and Joy Kecken (2008-01-20). "Not for Attribution". The Wire. Season 5. Episode 3. HBO.
- "The Wire episode guide - episode 53 Not for Attribution". HBO. 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-22.
- Dan Attias (2008-01-27). "Transitions". The Wire. Season 5. Episode 4. HBO.
- "The Wire episode guide - episode 54 Transitions". HBO. 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-05.
- Seith Mann (2008-02-10). "The Dickensian Aspect". The Wire. Season 5. Episode 6. HBO.
- "The Wire episode guide - episode 56 The Dickensian Aspect". HBO. 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-29.
- Dominic West (2008-02-17). "Took". The Wire. Season 5. Episode 7. HBO.
- "The Wire episode guide - episode 57 Took". HBO. 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-29.
- Anthony Hemingway (2008-02-24). "Clarifications". The Wire. Season 5. Episode 8. HBO.
- "The Wire episode guide - episode 58 Clarifications". HBO. 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-29.
- Joe Chappelle (2008-03-02). "Late Editions". The Wire. Season 5. Episode 9. HBO.
- "The Wire episode guide - episode 59 Late Editions". HBO. 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-10.
- Clark Johnson (2008-03-09). "-30-". The Wire. Season 5. Episode 10. HBO.
- "The Wire episode guide - episode 60 –30–". HBO. 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-10.
- "Character profile - Chief of Staff Coleman Parker". HBO. 2006. Retrieved 2006-09-15.
- "Character profile - Theresa D'Agostino". HBO. 2006. Retrieved 2006-09-15.
- "Character profile - Jennifer Carcetti". HBO. 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-12.