BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake launches the first television ad of the campaign season. The primary election is a little more than a month away.

As political reporter Pat Warren explains, the candidates are picking up the pace.

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Mayor Rawlings-Blake lets her mother do the talking in her new advertisement:  “Every day she gets up. She goes to work. She makes tough decisions– not for herself, but for the city that she loves.”

But her absence from recent community forums has other candidates for mayor questioning her commitment.

“I think it’s a real crime that she hasn’t seen fit to come out and join with the rest of the candidates and present her platform and take the tough questions from the community,” said Jody Landers.

Rawlings-Blake attended the Park Heights National Night Out in her capacity as mayor on Tuesday night, but a campaign spokesperson told WJZ her duties as mayor have prevented her from accepting invitations to community forums.

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Candidate Catherine Pugh attended the Night Out as well, and went on to participate in the largest mayoral forum to date on Tuesday night.

“I did pass Stephanie Rawlings-Blake earlier today as folks are out in the community at Night Outs, but she should have been here,” Pugh said at a community forum.

It appears the mayor’s TV ad is having an effect on the campaign in general.

“Glad to see that she’s being a little more proactive in this campaign,” Pugh said. “We’d really like to see her at the debates, in the community and talking to the people.”

“What we’re doing is accepting invitations from the community to come out, present our positions, listen to their concerns, take the questions from the community. You can’t question a television ad. At least as far as I remember,” Landers said.

Expect to see more ads as the primary date draws closer. Remember, early voting starts Sept. 1 and ends Sept. 8. The primary election is Sept. 13.

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Other candidates in the race include former city planner Otis Rolley and Baltimore Clerk of Courts Frank Conaway.