May 27th, 2024

Incumbent Brandon Scott prevails in Baltimore mayor’s race primary

By Lea Skene, The Associated Press on May 14, 2024.

BALTIMORE (AP) – Incumbent Brandon Scott beat out one of his predecessors in Baltimore’s Democratic primary for mayor on Tuesday, all but ensuring a second term in office.

Scott was originally elected in 2020, when he also campaigned against former Mayor Sheila Dixon and won by a narrow margin. This was Dixon’s third attempt at returning to the mayor’s office after her tenure was cut short in 2010 after she took a plea deal for misappropriating gift cards meant for poor families.

Scott will now be considered the prohibitive favorite in the November general election in the heavily Democratic city.

Public safety became a central issue in the 2020 campaign, and it remains a key point of contention this time around. Baltimore consistently ranks among the nation’s most violent cities, but its homicide rate has fallen significantly over the past several months. Scott cites those reductions as evidence his anti-violence strategies are working, while Dixon emphasizes the importance of policing “quality of life” crimes such as loitering and drug possession. She points to a rise in car thefts that is reflected across the country.

Scott brought a youthful energy to the office four years ago. In recent weeks, he has been the face of Baltimore in the aftermath of the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, which left six people dead and closed most maritime traffic through the city’s busy port. It remains to be seen whether that time in the spotlight will help his campaign.

“I’m running to finish the work that we started,” he said in an interview Thursday.

During his first term, Scott has received criticism for turnover within his administration, COVID-19 restrictions that some considered too stringent and other minor complaints.

Both Scott and Dixon grew up in Baltimore and served on City Council before running for mayor.

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