WYPR Baltimore Mayoral Interviews | WYPR

WYPR Baltimore Mayoral Interviews

The Office of the Mayor

Incumbent Mayor Jack Young represented a Northeast Baltimore District on the City Council for 14 years before becoming City Council president in 2010.

He became mayor in May 2019 after Mayor Catherine Pugh resigned in the fall-out from the 'Healthy Holly' scandal. He placed last in the most recent WYPR, Baltimore Sun, University of Baltimore poll with only 5%.


Speaking with Midday host Tom Hall in May, Young emphasized his ability to collaborate with partners to produce results.


“That's what I've done my whole career is work in partnership and trying to get a win-win out of everything that I've done since I’ve been on city council and as mayor, and I’ve been able to do that.” 


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 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.