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Emmett Burns, Jr.

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Emmett Burns, Jr.
Maryland House of Delegates District 10
In office
Term ends
January 12, 2015
Years in position 20
Deputy Majority Whip, Maryland State House of Delegates
Base salary$43,500/year
Per diem$142/day
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 2, 2010
First elected1994
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sJackson State University, 1962
Master'sPresbyterian School of Christian Education, 1969
Ph.D.University of Pittsburgh, 1974
OtherMDiv, Virginia Union University, 1968
Military service
Service/branchUnited States Air Force
Years of service1975-1978
Date of birthAugust 26, 1940
Place of birthJackson, MS
ProfessionPastor, Rising Sun First Baptist Church
Office website
Emmett Burns, Jr. (b. August 26, 1940) is a Democratic member of the Maryland House of Delegates, representing District 10 and serving as Deputy Minority Whip. He was first elected to the chamber in 1994.

Burns' professional experience includes working as the Pastor at Rising Sun First Baptist Church, Director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and Professor at the University of Maryland Ecumenical Institute of Theology. He served in the United States Air Force.

Committee assignments


In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Burns served on these committees:


In the 2009-2010 legislative session, Burns served on these committees:

  • Economic Matters
    • Subcommittee on Business Regulation
    • Subcommittee on Property and Casualty Insurance
    • Subcommittee on Unemployment Insurance
  • Federal Relations
  • Special Committee on Drug and Alcohol Abuse



See also: Maryland House of Delegates elections, 2010

Burns came in first in the general election on November 2, 2010, securing re-election to one of three seats in the district.[1]

Maryland House of Delegates, District 10 General Election (2010)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Emmett Burns, Jr. (D) 31,513
Green check mark transparent.png Shirley Nathan-Pulliam (D) 31,399
Green check mark transparent.png Adrienne Jones (D) 29,719
Jeanne Turnock (R) 6,837


On November 7, 2006, Emmett Burns, Jr. ran for District 10 of the Maryland House of Delegates, winning the first of three seats, beating Shirley Nathan-Pulliam and Adrienne Jones. [2]

Emmett Burns, Jr. raised $76,233 for his campaign.[3]

Maryland House of Delegates, District 10
Candidates Votes Percent
Emmett Burns, Jr. (D) 29,140 34.2%
Shirley Nathan-Pulliam (D) 28,544 33.5%
Adrienne Jones (D) 27,064 31.8%
Write-Ins 370 0.4%

Campaign donors


In 2010, a year in which Burns was up for re-election, he collected $85,750 in donations.[4]

His largest contributors in 2010 were:

Maryland House of Delegates 2010 election - Campaign Contributions
Top contributors to Emmett Burns, Jr.'s campaign in 2010
Whalen Properties$5,000
Cmte For Kamenetz$3,200
Friends Of Scott Shellenberger$2,250
R & J Group Inc$2,000
Baltimore County Homebuilders Political Action Commitee$2,000
Total Raised in 2010 $85,750


In 2006 Emmett Burns, Jr. collected $76,233 in donations. [5]

His five largest contributors in 2006 were:

Donor Amount
Northwest Catonsville Democratic Club $4,000
Security Square Associates $2,000
Emmett Burns $1,600
B & R Brooks Professional Tax Service $1,500
Vaughn C Greene Funeral Services $1,500

Views on same-sex marriage

In August 2012, Burns wrote a letter to Steve Bisciotti, the owner of the Baltimore Ravens. The letter regarded Brendon Ayanbadejo, a Ravens player and vocal supporter of same-sex marriage. Ayanbadejo has written columns and appeared in videos advocating his views on the subject. Burns wrote:

"Many of my constituents and your football supporters are appalled and aghast that a member of the Ravens Football Team would step into this controversial divide and try to sway public opinion one way or the other. Many of your fans are opposed to such a view and feel it has no place in a sport that is strictly for pride, entertainment and excitement. I am requesting that you take the necessary action, as a National Football Franchise Owner, to inhibit such expressions from your employee and that he be ordered to cease and desist such injurious actions. I know of no other NFL player who has done what Mr. Ayanbadejo is doing."

Ravens' team president Dick Cass said that the team respected Ayanbadejo's right to freedom of speech under the First Amendment.[6]

Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe wrote a response to Burns, taking him to task for his views on gay marriage and defending Ayanbadejo. He wrote:

"I can assure you that gay people getting married will have zero effect on your life. They won't come into your house and steal your children. They won't magically turn you into a lustful cockmonster. They won't even overthrow the government in an orgy of hedonistic debauchery because all of a sudden they have the same legal rights as the other 90 percent of our population—rights like Social Security benefits, child care tax credits, Family and Medical Leave to take care of loved ones, and COBRA healthcare for spouses and children. You know what having these rights will make gays? Full-fledged American citizens just like everyone else, with the freedom to pursue happiness and all that entails. Do the civil-rights struggles of the past 200 years mean absolutely nothing to you?"

In the P.S., Kluwe stated, "I've also been vocal as hell about the issue of gay marriage so you can take your "I know of no other NFL player who has done what Mr. Ayanbadejo is doing" and shove it in your close-minded, totally lacking in empathy piehole and choke on it. Asshole."[7]


Burns is Chair of the Baltimore Safe Schools Committee and the United Baptist Convention of Maryland Social Action Committee, and is a member of the National Baptist Convention of the United States of America, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, and Commission to Coordinate the Study, Commemoration, and Impact of Slavery's History and Legacy in Maryland.[8]

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