Baltimore Mayoral Race | WYPR

Baltimore Mayoral Race

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

The deadline to mail in ballots for Baltimore’s citywide primaries are next Tuesday. This week, WYPR is airing audio profiles of the major Democratic mayoral candidates. Today, we’ll take a ride along with Brandon Scott, the City Council President from Park Heights. WYPR’s Emily Sullivan reports

THIRU2020.COM

Thiru Vignarajah attended Yale University and Harvard Law School, where he served as president of the Harvard Law Review. He went on to clerk for Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer, and then served as a federal prosecutor at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore, working under then-U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein.

 

Vignarajah later moved to the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office, where he headed the Major Investigations Unit. In 2014, he was appointed Deputy Attorney General for Maryland under Attorney-General Brian Frosh, a position he left to work on the transition team for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

 

In 2017, Vignarajah ran an unsuccessful Democratic primary campaign for Baltimore City State's Attorney.  He is currently a litigation partner at the law firm DLA Piper in Baltimore.

T.J. SMITH FOR MAYOR CAMPAIGN

T.J. Smith grew up in Northwest Baltimore. He spent two decades in law enforcement, first as a police officer in Anne Arundel County, then later as spokesperson for the Baltimore Police Department. He left the department in 2018 and became press secretary for Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr.

 

This is Smith’s first run for political office. He came in fifth in the latest WYPR, Baltimore Sun and University of Baltimore poll

 

Speaking with On the Record host Sheilah Kast in May, he asserted that Baltimore needs a non-politician in leadership.

 

“I feel like many of the failures that we’ve seen have been because of politicians doing political things. I don’t have a desire to be anything more than the mayor of Baltimore. I’ve been a public servant, that’s what I am.”

Brandon Scott for Mayor

Brandon Scott was raised in Baltimore’s Park Heights neighborhood. He was elected in 2011 to represent the city's second district in Northeast Baltimore at the age of 27, one of the youngest people ever to serve on the council. 

In 2018, Jim Shea picked Scott as his running mate in their unsuccessful bid in the Democratic gubernatorial primary.

In May 2019, his fellow council members unanimously chose him to be president after then-Council President Jack Young became mayor following former Mayor Catherine Pugh’s resignation. 

Courtesy of Miller for Mayor

After a long career at T. Rowe Price, Mary Miller was appointed by President Obama to top jobs at the Treasury Department. She was the first woman to serve as Under Secretary for the Office of Domestic Finance. For the last few years, she has been a Senior Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University 21st Century Cities Initiative.

According to the latest WYPR, Baltimore Sun and University of Baltimore poll, Miller is tied with former Mayor Sheila Dixon for the lead. This is her first run for political office. 

Courtesy of Sheila Dixon

Sheila Dixon is a former Baltimore City council member and city council president. She became mayor in January 2007 when then-mayor Martin O’Malley was inaugurated as Maryland’s governor. She served the remainder of his term and was elected in her own right in November 2007. In 2010 she was convicted of embezzlement in a scandal over gift cards meant for the needy and resigned.

Four years ago Dixon ran again in the Democratic mayoral primary, losing by a few thousand votes to Catherine Pugh. Now Dixon is running for mayor for the third time.   

TJSmithforbaltimore.com

Former Baltimore Police Department spokesman T.J. Smith is one of six Democrats who are considered leaders in the race for Baltimore mayor.

This is Mr. Smith’s first run for political office.  He is a former Anne Arundel County police lieutenant who joined the Baltimore Police Department in 2015, with the arrival of Commissioner Kevin Davis. Smith served as the BPD chief of communications until 2018. He then served as press secretary and communications adviser to Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski, Jr.

Note about a mayoral debate tonight: Baltimore mayoral candidates will share their perspectives on fair development, housing, transportation and zero waste in a free online forum tonight, Tues., May 19, from 6-8 pm, moderated by Baltimore Sun reporter Jean Marbella.

Confirmed participants include T.J. Smith, Sheila Dixon, Mary Miller, Brandon Scott and Thiru Vignarajah.  Watch this free event at:  Bit.ly/fairdevelopmentforum or by phone at 415-655-0001. The event access code is 472 484 895 and the password is 2020.

Brandon for Baltimore Facebook page

Baltimore’s next mayor will face the challenge of managing pandemic recovery while addressing gun violence and record unemployment. 

BARBARA HADDOCK TAYLOR/BALTIMORE SUN

T.J. Smith, a former Baltimore Police Department spokesman, formally announced his run for mayor on Tuesday.

The Democrat made the announcement on the 1400 block of Argyle Avenue, the same street where his younger brother Dionay was murdered in the summer of 2017. 

Surrounded by other families who lost loved ones to violence, Smith said the city needs fresh leadership to drive meaningful change.

http://www.harrisforbaltimore.com/

While state Senator Catherine Pugh easily won last week’s mayoral election, Joshua Harris, the Green Party candidate for mayor, managed to poll about 10 percent of the vote.

“The third party candidate did very well - over 10% is a good, healthy number,” said John Willis, a former Maryland Secretary of State.

Pugh staves off Dixon and others

Nov 9, 2016
P. Kenneth Burns

State Senator Catherine Pugh has staved off a late effort from former Mayor Sheila Dixon to become the mayor-elect of Baltimore City.  Pugh also defeated Republican Alan Walden and the Green Party’s Joshua Harris in the process.

Dixon disses election results - again

Oct 25, 2016
P. Kenneth Burns

Former Mayor Sheila Dixon insists she’s not a sore loser. But during an appearance on WYPR’s Midday Tuesday, she repeated her charge that questions still linger about the integrity of the results of the primary election she lost in April.

The open seat at City Hall

Oct 20, 2016
Pugh and Harris: P. Kenneth Burns/Walden: Walden For Mayor campaign

For the first time since 1999, the seat for Baltimore Mayor is open because Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake isn’t seeking a second elected term in office.

On November 8, city residents will have a choice between Democrat Catherine Pugh, Republican Alan Walden and the Green Party’s Joshua Harris.

For nearly half a century, the general election has been a mere formality for the Democratic candidate running to lead Charm City.  That was evident when Rawlings-Blake commented on the race in September.

Sheila’s back, but can she win?

Oct 11, 2016
P. Kenneth Burns

Former Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon announced she will try to get her job back as a write in candidate for the general election.

Dixon filed the paperwork Tuesday before a news conference.  She acknowledged her newly revived campaign is going to be challenging.

“I know this is a uphill battle.  But I know that in the next four weeks, were gonna educate people in the ‘ABC’s’ of what it means to write-in a candidate,” she said.

She also added that her campaign is going to be “organic” and “grassroots.”

Dixon’s comeback try falls short

Apr 27, 2016

Despite her loss, former Mayor Sheila Dixon was feeling the love at her election night party. Her concession speech was interrupted several times by supporters shouting that they love her, and Dixon sent that message right back to them. 

Pugh secures Democratic nod for mayor

Apr 27, 2016

State Senator Catherine Pugh claimed victory last night in a tightly contested Democratic mayoral primary that became tighter as the evening went on, then focused on unity and moving forward in her victory speech. 

For Pugh, it's a race to primary day

Apr 25, 2016

With the primary election looming on Tuesday, this weekend was the start of a sprint to the finish line for state Senator Catherine Pugh in her bid to be the Democratic nominee for mayor.

“Welcome back.”

That’s what Theresa Jones said to Sheila Dixon, when she came across the former Mayor at the Unity Rally and March at Penn and North Sunday.

Mayor’s Race: Where is Freddie Gray?

Apr 25, 2016

Baltimore is marking the death one year ago of Freddie Gray at the same time it’s choosing a mayor. But Gray, his death while in police custody and the riots that followed have not been center stage in the campaign.

Mayor’s Race: Minimum Wage? Not So Fast

Apr 20, 2016

All of the major Democratic candidates running for mayor say they support the idea of raising the minimum wage. But none of them fully support a proposal introduced this week in the City Council that would do just that.

Mayor’s Race: Mosby Drops Out, Pugh Drops In

Apr 20, 2016

Hours before Councilman Nick Mosby shook up the race for mayor by dropping out, the frontrunner pulled a surprise of her own.

State Senator Catherine Pugh had begged off from a debate Wednesday on WYPR’s Maryland Morning with fellow candidates Elizabeth Embry and Councilman Carl Stokes, citing a scheduling conflict. Then about 15 minutes into the program Pugh showed up, surprising the candidates and host Tom Hall.

  The six major Democratic candidates for Mayor squared off last night in the final televised debate before the April 26 primary. However, the rules of the debate kept the candidates from questioning each other, which allowed the frontrunner to escape virtually unscathed. 

  Two of the major Democratic candidates for Mayor aggressively attacked each other’s records on crime Wednesday a debate on WYPR’s Maryland Morning, while a third tried to stay above the fray.

Remember the touch screen voting in past years? Well, forget about it. When you vote this time around, you’ll be marking a paper ballot, filling in ovals next to the candidates of your choice.

Consider it a trip down memory lane when you took those standardized tests with number two pencils.

The Turnaround Truck Turns Heads

Mar 18, 2016

  David Warnock’s truck is getting noticed on the streets of Baltimore.  And it’s not for its current top speed of 35 miles per hour.

Dubbed by its owner as the “Turnaround Truck,” the vehicle – featured prominently in Warnock’s television ads - has become a symbol of his campaign for Baltimore mayor.  He says it became a symbol by accident.

    

Sheila Dixon says when she was mayor she made city agencies more accountable to the taxpayers. If you called City Hall with a problem, you deserved an answer. She says she’ll bring that back if she’s elected.

The two leaders in the race to be Baltimore’s next mayor are no strangers to each other. In fact, they have battled each other before for public office.

Arts in the mayor's race

Mar 14, 2016

The candidates to be Baltimore's next mayor laid out their plans to support the arts Monday night at a forum at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Event organizers said it was the first mayoral forum ever dedicated specifically to the arts.  WYPR's John Lee was there and joined Morning Edition host Nathan Sterner to talk about it.

Mayor’s race: MTA running late

Mar 14, 2016

  Marcie Roberts heard the disembodied voice--“Welcome aboard MTA”—one recent morning as she boarded a bus at Northern Parkway and York Road. She was in the middle of her daily 90-minute-two-bus commute from Windsor Mill to her job in Towson. The bus that got her to that point was the 44. She said it wasn’t so welcoming.

“Bus 44 is the worst bus I ever got on.”

Roberts said the bus is often late and doesn’t run at convenient times.

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