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Former mayor Sheila Dixon will challenge Brandon Scott for Baltimore mayor in 2024

Former Baltimore mayor Sheila Dixon made it official that she will be running for mayor again in 2024. Photo by Emily Hofstaedter/WYPR.
Emily Hofstaedter
Former Baltimore mayor Sheila Dixon made it official that she will be running for mayor again in 2024.

Sheila Dixon has been teasing a run for mayor since at least early June, but on Thursday, surrounded by supporters in Druid Heights’ Gold Street park, she made it official; she will be running for Baltimore City mayor in 2024.

This would be her third consecutive run. She ran in 2016 and again in 2020 against Mayor Brandon Scott. Both are Democrats and given Baltimore’s deep Democratic history, it is likely that whoever wins the primary in May will win the general election in November.

Despite saying she would not run again in 2020, Dixon says people still turn to her for help when it comes to city government and that was part of the inspiration behind giving it another shot.

“As a leader in this city for many years, both government and in the community. I know that improving the lives of the residents requires action, accountability, excellence,” said Dixon.

Dixon served as the city’s mayor from 2007-2010 before resigning as part of a plea deal over misdemeanor charges related to misappropriated gift cards meant for charity. Instead of using the gift cards for the poor, she bought gifts and items for her family and staff. She published an apology in an op-ed letter this morning, asking for Baltimoreans to “restore” their trust in her and in Baltimore.

If elected, Dixon says she’ll focus on improving city services like trash collection and working with partners like the state’s attorney’s office to further reduce crime.

Dixon took care not to smear her opponents and stressed that all of Baltimore’s mayors are “good people.” Still, she emphasized her history as a capable city leader.

“I look at city government today and I don't recognize it anymore,” said Dixon. “I see firsthand that it's letting people down daily.”

While she acknowledged that crime, including fatal and non-fatal shootings are going down, she said that Baltimoreans still feel “unsafe” and are still dealing with other quality of life problems like the thefts of Kia and Hyundai motor vehicles.

During her tenure as mayor, homicides dropped from 282 to 238 and the arrest rate dropped. Since 2015, homicides have topped 300 deaths every year although this year homicides are on track to be the lowest they have been in years.

Dixon has not yet filed all of her official candidacy paperwork with the state but her campaign says she is in the process of doing so.

Emily is a general assignment news reporter for WYPR.
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