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Rawlings-Blake Refuses Republican Delegate’s Challenge For Debate

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BALTIMORE (WJZ)– State delegate Pat McDonough challenges Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to a debate on her crimefighting efforts.

Political reporter Pat Warren has the mayor’s response.

Republican Del. Pat McDonough claims Rawlings-Blake is sweeping crime under the rug.

“This is an issue about a city that is at risk– a city that if it doesn’t overcome crime, crime is going to overcome it,” McDonough said.

McDonough is now challenging the mayor to a debate, his latest volley since issuing a release headlined “Black Youth Mobs Terrorize Baltimore.”

Incidents include the attack on a tourist on St. Patrick’s Day and the release of the dispatch are evidence of the problem.

“This is a long-term campaign of awareness,” Rawlings-Blake said. “The Baltimore City problem. There are problems in Baltimore County and there are problems around the state.”

But he says fights, murders and shootings make Baltimore City and Mayor Rawlings-Blake his priority.

“I think it would be more useful if he would debate himself and his other Republican colleagues that supported the doomsday budget in the state,” Rawlings-Blake said.

McDonough voted against the budget that restored public safety funding, he says, because it included tax increases. But Mayor Rawlings-Blake says funding is critical to crimefighting.

“Violent crime is down historic lows in the city, and we would not be able to get there without smart investments he would have slashed in this budget. So I have no interest in debating him,” she said.

In addition to cracking down on offenders, McDonough’s proposals include legislation he says he’s putting together to include a youth advocacy fund.

McDonough is inviting the mayor to lead a summit on youth crime solutions in Baltimore City.

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