BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake makes it official. She’s running for the office of mayor.
Political reporter Pat Warren explains the field of candidates for Baltimore’s top job is expanding.
Rawlings-Blake announced her run for office Thursday.
She said “people need to work,” and getting people working means holding on to her own job.
Rawlings-Blake was council president when she was sworn in as mayor last year to replace the disgraced Sheila Dixon. She believes the way she’s handled Baltimore’s affairs since February of last year will earn her voter approval this September.
“I think the one thing I appreciate about the people of Baltimore is they don’t confuse criticism with leadership,” Rawlings-Blake said. “Everyone can criticize, but what are the solutions? And have your solutions been tested?”
Much criticism is coming from Otis Rolley, a Democrat and former Baltimore City Director of Planning who’s already made a splash by gaining the endorsement of Bill Cosby. He filed his candidacy two weeks ago.
The executive vice president of the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors, Jody Landers, threw his hat into the Democratic primary last week.
Rawlings-Blake has the endorsement of Baltimore Congressman Elijah Cummings, who considers her tried and true.
“When I look at what the mayor has done, she has dealt with our problems like any family would deal with the most difficult family problems,” he said. “She’s looked at her options. She’s been honest with the family members—those are the citizens of Baltimore. And then she tried to make the very difficult decisions that had to be made.”
Those decisions have included taxes, cuts and ethics violations— which is what put her in the office in the first place, and have led to investigations in the police and public works departments.
“I’m gonna shine a light whether it’s in transportation, the police department, DPW, anywhere that we find people who are abusing the trust of the citizens who put us here, we’re gonna shine a light on it,” Rawlings-Blake said.
The city primary is Sept. 13. Traditionally the winners of the Democratic primary in Baltimore win the general election, which is Nov. 8 this year.
Other candidates are expected to join the race, but as of this afternoon, no Republicans have filed.