State Sen. Pugh To Run For Baltimore Mayor

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The field of candidates for mayor of Baltimore continues to expand.  State Senator Catherine Pugh is announcing her candidacy for mayor.

Political reporter Pat Warren has more on the senator’s decision.

Pugh is expected to tip the balance in the mayor’s race.  She’s been laying the foundation for this announcement for weeks, holding fundraisers and building a campaign platform.

“This is going to be a community-driven campaign,” Pugh said.

Pugh is one of four mayoral candidates with stints on the City Council under their belts.  As a councilwoman, she ran for Council President in 2003, a race that also included Councilman Carl Stokes, who is also running for mayor.  Pugh increases the field of Democrats to six—not unusual in Baltimore.

“Baltimore doesn’t have a very centralized political structure compared to other cities like Chicago, so it’s quite common to get multiple candidates, even when it seems very likely that one of them is way out in front,” said political analyst Matthew Crenson.

By all accounts, the front-runner is Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, whose endorsements include U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski and Governor Martin O’Malley, but other candidates believe since she was appointed mayor after Sheila Dixon resigned and was not elected by the people, she can be defeated.

Other candidates are City Clerk of Courts Frank Conaway, former councilman and Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors Executive Jody Landers and former Baltimore City Planning Director Otis Rolley.  Expect a lot of campaigning in a very short period of time.

“Especially in this kind of election.  Baltimore has an odd election calendar.  We have a primary in September and whoever wins the Democratic primary inevitably wins the general election,” Crenson said.

Pugh fully expects to be that winner.

“I’m used to working hard,” Pugh said. “I’m willing to work hard for Baltimore.  I’m willing to work hard for the future of this city and I’m just looking forward to it.”

The Baltimore primary is Sept. 13.  Early voting begins Sept. 1.

Only one Republican, Vicki Ann Harding, has filed as a candidate for mayor.

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