POLITICS: Campaigns

Robocall conspirator files for state Senate seat

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Local,Maryland,Campaigns

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A political consultant who was convicted in a robocall conspiracy in the last Maryland governor's election filed to run for a Baltimore state Senate seat on Thursday.

Julius Henson filed paperwork at the state elections board to run in the Democratic primary against Sen. Nathaniel McFadden. But Henson's candidacy remains uncertain because he is serving three years of probation from the 2012 conspiracy conviction.

Henson also served 30 days in jail for the robocalls made to Democratic voters that prosecutors contended were aimed at keeping black voters from the polls.

A hearing has been scheduled for Feb. 27 before Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Emanuel Brown to determine whether Henson can run for office while on probation.

Henson is prohibited from working in a political campaign either as a paid staffer or a volunteer as part of his probation. Henson said he doesn't believe his probation prohibits him from being a candidate.

"I'm a candidate, not a volunteer, so I have not a single clue as to why I'm accused of violating probation, but that will be decided on Thursday," Henson told reporters after filing his paperwork.

Henson worked for former Republican Gov. Robert Ehrich's campaign during his 2010 rematch with Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley. A Baltimore jury convicted Henson in 2012 of conspiring to send robocalls without an authority line that told listeners who was sending the message.

The Election Day calls sent to about 110,000 Democratic voters in Baltimore and Prince George's County told listeners to "relax" because O'Malley had already won, in the hours before polls closed.

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