The Latest: Baltimore mayor will not seek re-election

AP News
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Posted: Sep 11, 2015 12:48 PM

BALTIMORE (AP) — The latest on the mayor of Baltimore, who said Friday she will not seek re-election (all times local):

12:10 p.m.

Gov. Larry Hogan says he values his working relationship with Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and will keep working with her to make Baltimore better.

In a statement Friday, Hogan says it takes courage and strength to lead the city.

The two officials have had their difficulties.

When Hogan called in the National Guard in April to help restore order after rioting in the aftermath of Freddie Gray's death, the Republican governor noted that he had been waiting for the mayor to express her support for the decision. The two also disagreed over when to lift a curfew in the city, with the mayor wanting it lifted sooner than the governor.

Hogan also decided against moving forward with a proposed light rail plan in the city, a decision that frustrated the Democratic mayor and other city officials.

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11:45 a.m.

Baltimore's police union says it is looking to partnering with new leadership now that the mayor says she will not seek re-election.

In a statement released Friday, Fraternal Order of Police President Gene Ryan says the union looks forward "to leadership that makes partnering with public safety a priority." He says officers and city leaders must work as a team to make the city a place people want to live, work and visit.

The union conducted its own review of the management of riots in the city after the April death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who suffered fatal injuries in police custody. The scathing report accused then-Police Commissioner Anthony Batts and other top brass of instructing officers not to engage with rioters and to allow looting and destruction to occur.

It featured a quote from Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake on its cover: "We also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that."

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11:35 a.m.

Baltimore City Councilman Carl Stokes, who is running for mayor, says Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's announcement that she won't run for re-election caught him off guard. But he is praising her for putting the city ahead of her personal ambitions.

He says it "took a lot of fortitude" to end her re-election bid and do what she felt was best for the city.

He says he understands Rawlings-Blake's contention that a campaign would be stressful and distracting as the city tries to recover from the death of Freddie Gray and six police officers face trial for their role in a fatal injury he suffered in their custody. He says "the city is on edge."

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11:18 a.m.

A Maryland state senator who's running for Baltimore mayor says she's surprised that Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake won't seek another term.

Democratic Sen. Catherine Pugh says she considers Rawlings-Blake a friend and "a mayor who has done what she thought was best for the city during her tenure."

But Pugh, who represents west Baltimore, says the city's next mayor needs to be "a visionary leader" who'll focus on what Baltimore should look like 10 years from now.

Rawlings-Blake said Friday she won't seek another term so she can focus her energy on preparing the city for the trials of six police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray, among other consequences of Gray's death from an injury suffered in police custody.

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10:34 a.m.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's predecessor as mayor, who is seeking to regain the office, is commending her service to the city. But former mayor Sheila Dixon would not comment on how the mayor's decision not to seek re-election would change the race.

Rawlings-Blake announced her decision Friday at a news conference at City Hall.

Dixon says the mayor and her family have made sacrifices, and "I think she's earned the right to pursue other goals and other challenges in her life."

Dixon, a 61-year-old Democrat, left office in 2010 amid a scandal over stolen gift cards that were donated to the city for needy families. Rawlings-Blake succeeded her. Dixon remains popular among many residents and increased her visibility in the wake of the rioting that followed Freddie Gray's death in police custody.

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10:20 a.m.

The mayor of Baltimore says she will not seek re-election nearly five months after the city erupted in rioting following the death of a man injured in police custody.

Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced Friday at a news conference that she will not run for mayor again. The announcement comes just days after officials said the city would pay Freddie Gray's family $6.4 million to settle civil claims over his spinal injury.

The Democrat assumed the post in 2010 after her predecessor, Sheila Dixon, stepped down amid scandal. Rawlings-Blake won the 2011 Democratic primary with about 52 percent of the vote in the heavily Democratic city.

Rawlings-Blake, the daughter of a popular state delegate, worked as a public defender and was the youngest person elected to the City Council at age 25 in 1995.