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Brandon Scott Inches Ahead Of Sheila Dixon In Mayor’s Democratic Primary Race

Emily Sullivan/WYPR


  City Council President Brandon Scott has overtaken former mayor Sheila Dixon in the Baltimore City Democratic mayoral election by just 388 votes.

Up until a Sunday night voting count update, Dixon had maintained an edge over Scott in a crowded competition that was dramatically shaped by the coronavirus pandemic and civil unrest sweeping over Baltimore and the rest of the U.S. in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. 

The city council president now has 28.7% of the vote, with 39,043 ballots cast for him. Dixon has 28.4% with 38,655 votes. Former T. Rowe Price executive Mary Miller remains in a distant third place with 15.5% of the vote.


"For now," the Scott campaign wrote in a Sunday Facebook post, "Thank you for your continued support!"

In the race to become the city’s chief financial watchdog, challenger Bill Henry’s steady lead over longtime Comptroller Joan Pratt widened Sunday night. The councilman from North Baltimore has 53.9% of the vote, while Pratt has 46.1%. On primary day, Henry’s lead over Pratt was just under 2%; the gap between the Democrats has grown as the vote counts have been updated.  

Del. Nick Mosby has maintained a steady lead in the race to become city council president; he has about 40% of the vote while Councilwoman Shannon Sneed has 28.6%. Former Councilman Carl Stokes has 21.6% of the vote. The ballots that remain to be counted are not enough to boost Sneed's vote count past Mosby's.


"Amid the COVID-19 global pandemic and at a moment in time where so many are hurting and cities across our country are at the brink of chaos because of police brutality and systemic inequity, we don’t have the luxury of a victory lap or prolonged celebrations," Mosby said in a statement to WYPR on Monday afternoon. "It’s time to get to work on behalf of the people we are blessed to serve."


"I’m blessed to have an opportunity to continue to serve our city and I’m excited to work with the new Mayor and my colleagues on the city council to make real progress for our community," his statement continued. 


Sneed released a statement congratulating Mosby on his "apparent victory."


"We still have a lot to do, because Baltimore is still hurting," she wrote. "I know that no matter what my next steps may be, I am committed to making Baltimore City a better place for my daughter and all of our children."



Elections officials have canvassed ballots every day since Thursday, and have updated results each night since. 

The election is still a long way from being certified: at least 155,011 ballots from Democratic voters have arrived at an elections warehouse in West Baltimore, Baltimore City Elections director Armstead Jones said at a public meeting Monday morning. The official said workers have counted 143,678 of those ballots, meaning thousands remain.


Though not every ballot cast has been processed, the race has already surpassed 2016’s primary turnout: 135,588 voters turned out in 2016. 

You can check reported results of the primary election here.

Emily Sullivan is a city hall reporter at WYPR, where she covers all things Baltimore politics. She joined WYPR after reporting for NPR’s national airwaves. There, she was a reporter for NPR’s news desk, business desk and presidential conflicts of interest team. Sullivan won a national Edward R. Murrow Award for an investigation into a Trump golf course's finances alongside members of the Embedded team. She has also won awards from the Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association for her use of sound and feature stories. She has provided news analysis on 1A, The Takeaway, Here & Now and All Things Considered.
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