BALTIMORE (AP) — After one of the most politically and socially tumultuous periods in Baltimore's recent history, 2016 will see the election of a new mayor to a city still reeling and healing from protests, riots and a federal investigation into its troubled police department. With Democratic incumbent Stephanie Rawlings-Blake abandoning her re-election campaign, it's anyone's guess who the city's next mayor will be. Democratic registered voters outnumber Republicans registered to vote by about 9 to 1, so the April 26 primary is expected to decide the race.
A Democratic councilman for a district that encompasses the swath of West Baltimore most directly impacted by the April 27 riot, Nick Mosby is the husband of State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby, who is prosecuting six officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray. His entry into the race was widely anticipated after Rawlings-Blake announced she wouldn't seek re-election. Mosby, 36, has positioned himself as a reform-minded politician. In an email to supporters inviting them to his announcement on Sunday, he wrote, "We're at a crucial crossroads, where we can succumb to the challenges facing Baltimore or elevate this beautiful city, maximizing all its great potential. I know the path I'm taking. Will you join me?"
What's old is new again. Dixon, a 61-year-old Democrat, was mayor from 2007 to 2010, when she resigned as part of a plea agreement stemming from charges that she stole gift cards meant for poor children. She announced her candidacy in July. Dixon remains popular among Baltimore's residents, including activists and those who took part in protests following Freddie Gray's death. At Gray's funeral, Rawlings-Blake received polite applause, while Dixon was greeted with a standing ovation from the crowd of more than 2,500 people. On her website, Dixon pledges to "reclaim, revive (and) rebuild Baltimore."
During and after the riot, this 65-year-old Democratic state senator was a familiar face in West Baltimore, where she showed up for news conferences and helped clean the streets after windows were smashed and a CVS was set on fire. Pugh is the Senate majority leader and lost to Rawlings-Blake in the last Democratic mayoral primary in 2011. Pugh is president and CEO of C.E. Pugh & Co., a public relations firm, and is a children's book author.
Another Democratic member of the City Council, Stokes ran previously for mayor in 1999, losing to Martin O'Malley in the Democratic primary. He served on the council from 1987 to 1995, when he left to join the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners. He returned to the council in 2010. Previously, Stokes, 65, was vice president of a medical supplies company.
OTHER CANDIDATES: Democrats Richard Black, Mack Clifton, Mike Maraziti and Calvin Young III. Republican Brian Vaeth has filed to run, as has Green Party member Bonnie Lane.
Information from: The Baltimore Sun, http://www.baltimoresun.com