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Brandon Scott Sworn In As Mayor, Bill Henry Sworn In As Comptroller

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

Mayor Brandon Scott and Comptroller Bill Henry were sworn into their new offices Tuesday afternoon, ending an administration created by political re-shuffling after ex-mayor Catherine Pugh resigned amid scandal.

The Democrats, formerly City Council President and 4th District Councilman, respectively, both campaigned on their progressive politics. Scott, 36, replaces longtime City Hall fixture Jack Young. Henry, 51, replaces Joan Pratt, who served as Comptroller for more than two decades.

Scott and Henry’s ceremonies were closed to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic. They took their oaths inside City Hall separately, surrounded by a handful of family members while the public watched via livestream.

“You have entrusted me to be your mayor in this critical moment,” Scott, Baltimore’s 52nd mayor, said in a speech outside City Hall after the ceremony.

“Through fresh thinking, transparency, professionalism, integrity and hard work, we can meet these challenges. You will not agree with everything that I do, but I know you agree that the status quo cannot continue.”

Scott told an audience of reporters the city’s violence is “personal for you, just like it is for me.”

“It is clear our crime fighting strategies clearly have not yielded the results we need as we continue to lose too many people to violence and those who are committing these acts remain comfortable on our streets,” he said. “This is unacceptable and will change.”

He said that he will not “hesitate or waver to make decisions that save lives and protect our economy” and that he will seek to ensure that every Baltimorean wears a mask and has access to the coronavirus vaccine.

Scott was elected city council president by his peers after Young ascended to the mayor’s office. He previously represented Northeast Baltimore in the City Council. Scott narrowly won the June Democratic primary, splitting the vote between a handful of City Hall veterans including Young and former mayor Sheila Dixon. He cruised to victory in the general election.

Credit Courtesy of the office of Comptroller Bill Henry
Mayor Brandon Scott swears in Comptroller Bill Henry.

After his ceremony, Scott swore in Henry.

Henry represented North Baltimore on the council for 12 years before narrowly beating Pratt in June. He ran unopposed in the general election. 

“I’d like to thank the residents of Baltimore City for entrusting me with this position,” Henry said outside City Hall. “And now, I’m going to get to work.”

City Council President-elect Nick Mosby and the rest of the council’s incoming members will be sworn in Thursday afternoon.

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.