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AP: Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake Wins Primary

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BALTIMORE (WJZ/AP) — The polls closed at 8 p.m. Tuesday and now voters and candidates are waiting to see the results. The Associated Press has called the race for Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

So far, 99% percent of the precincts have turned in ballots and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is leading her opponents with 52% of the vote. Catherine Pugh has received 25% so far, Otis Rolley has gotten 13%, Jody Landers has gotten seven percent, Frank Conaway has gotten three percent and Wilton Wilson has received 0%. On the Republican side, Alfred Griffin has 51% and Vicki Harding has 49%.

Mary Bubala spoke with Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

“I love my hometown,” a beaming Rawlings-Blake said to supporters at her victory party. “We have all seen that Baltimore can go against the odds and win. We stand united behind a shared vision: better schools, safer streets and stronger neighborhoods.”

Mayor Rawlings-Blake was the heavy favorite to win and this all but assures a win in November. Baltimore is a heavily Democratic city.

“I think she did an incredible job given that it was something she’d never done before,” said one.

“Congratulations to each and every one of you for rising to the challenge and working together for our city,” Rawlings-Blake said.

Governor Martin O’Malley and Senator Barbara Mikulski were there to celebrate, as well; both had endorsed the mayor.

“I voted for Stephanie because I’m more familiar with her,” said Florence D. Hope, 59, a registered Democrat who is active in her community association. Rawlings-Blake has been responsive to her community’s concerns about absentee landowners, she said. “The other folks just popped up around election time. How can I vote for someone when I don’t know them?”

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. She became Council president in 2007 and mayor last year when Democrat Sheila Dixon resigned after an embezzlement conviction and separate plea for lying about gifts from her developer ex-boyfriend.

Lutalo Bakari, 46, a registered Democrat who works as a social worker and track coach with city schools, said he voted for Rawlings-Blake because he likes what he has seen from her since she became mayor.

“Considering what she inherited, I think she’s done a tremendous job,” Bakari said. “She’s doing the work that’s needed.”

But he didn’t hear anything he liked from Rawlings-Blake’s challengers and felt they focused on issues such as lowering property taxes.

“They made no case at all,” he said.

Republicans Vicki Ann Harding and Alfred Griffin are competing to challenge the Democratic primary winner in the Nov. 8 general election. However, the Democratic primary tends to decide the race for mayor Baltimore where Republicans make up about 10 percent of registered voters. The city hasn’t had a Republican mayor since Theodore R. McKeldin left office in 1967.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press has also called the race for City Council President in favor of Jack Young. So far, current City Council President Jack Young has received 75% of the votes. Tom Kiefaber has eight percent of the vote, Charles Smith has seven percent, Renold Smith has five percent and Leon Hector has five percent. Of the Republican candidates, David Wiggins has 65% of the vote and Armand Girard has 35%.

Joan Pratt has been re-elected as city comptroller in an uncontested race.

In district 1, incumbent James Kraft has 67% of the vote. Helene Luce has 25% of the vote and Jason Kahler has eight percent. So far, 68% of the precincts have reported.

In district 2, 88% of the precincts have reported. So far, Brandon Scott is in the lead with 55% of the vote. Emmett Guyton has 17%, Anthony Hamilton has 11%, Sharita Obbiora has eight percent, Cynthia Gross has seven percent and Jamaal Simpson has three percent.

In district 3, 70% of the precincts have reported. So far, incumbent Robert Curran has 66% of the vote, George Vanhook has 24% and Jerome Bivens has 10%.

In district 4, 90% of the precincts have reported. So far, incumbent Bill Henry has 60% of the vote and Scherod Barnes has 40%.

In district 5, 94% of the precincts have reported. So far, Rochelle Spector has 57% of the vote. Curtis Jones has 17%, Derrick Lennon has 11%, Scott Carberry has eight percent and Luke Durant has seven percent.

In district 6, 72% of the precincts have reported. So far, incumbent Sharon Middleton has 64% of the vote. Mark Hughes has 24% and Rhonda Wimbish has 12%.

In district 7, 87% of the precincts have reported. Nick Mosby has 49% of the vote, incumbent Belinda Conaway has 40% of the vote, Allen Hicks has six percent, Henry Brim has two percent and Timothy Mercer has two percent.

In district 8, 94% of the precincts have reported. Incumbent Helen Holton has 52% of the vote. David Smallwood has 38%, Dayvon Love has eight percent and Haki Ammi has two percent.

In district 9, 86% of the precincts have reported. Incumbent William Welch has 34% of the vote. Abigail Breiseth has 14%, Chris Taylor has 13%, John Bullock has 12%, Michael Johnson has 10%, Quianna Cooke has nine percent, Janet Bailey has five percent, Waymon LeFall has two percent and Derwin Hannah has two percent.

In district 10, 100% of the precincts have reported. Incumbent Edward Reisinger has 60%, Bill Marker has 28% and Erica White has 12%.

In district 12, 95% of the precincts have reported. Incumbent Carl Stokes has 51% of the vote, Odette Ramos has 21%, Devon Brown has 13%, Jason Curtis has eight percent, Jermaine Jones has three percent, Frank Richardson has three percent and Ertha Harris has one percent.

In district 13, 76% of the precincts have reported. Shannon Sneed has 38%, incumbent Warren Branch has 36%, Antonio Glover has 17%, Kimberly Armstrong has seven percent and Gamaliel Harris has two percent.

Kai Jackson has more on what Baltimore wants most from its mayor.

Ambitious plans and big agendas are what candidates for mayor of Baltimore are promising. Voters went to the polls Tuesday to pick one of those hopefuls to run as the Democratic and Republican nominee in November.

“I’d like to see someone who’s very strong on education and is true to his or her words,” said Christie Adams.

At Belvedere Square in East Baltimore, food isn’t the only topic on the table—so is politics in the city. A primary election is an ideal time to talk about jobs, education and the economy. Citizens say what they expect of the candidate emerging from a crowded field.

“I think the most important thing for the mayor is to focus on the city and turning the city around,” said Kavan Clifford.

“I think one thing that this next mayor needs to really do is call upon the president and other national leaders to make urban unemployment a national issue,” said Dr. Lester Spence.

The general election is Nov. 8.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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