BALTIMORE (WJZ)–Two of the most well-known political figures in Baltimore face off in the 2016 race for mayor.

Former Mayor Sheila Dixon says today she will run for mayor against incumbent Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

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There have been rumblings about a Dixon comeback ever since she was forced out of office in 2010.

WJZ’s Political Reporter Pat Warren has more on what’s ahead.

On April 26th, Primary Election Day in Baltimore, city residents will choose between who they had and who they have as mayor of the city.

 Vic Carter sat down with former Mayor Sheila Dixon exclusively in May, just after the city unrest.

Carter: “What kind of job do you think Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is doing right now?”

Dixon: “I am not going to grade Stephanie because I believe criticizing her at this time would be insensitive for me to do that.”

That time has evidentially passed since there’s no greater criticism of politicians than to run against them.

On Facebook Dixon writes, “After discussions with my family and encouragement from friends and people across the city, I have made a decision to run for mayor of Baltimore.”

Dixon also launched her website: sheiladixonformayor.com

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That decision was in the making prior to the violence that erupted in west Baltimore, and called mayor Rawlings-Blake’s leadership into question.

“For the last two years people have come up to me and encouraged me to go back in public office,” Dixon told WJZ in May.

Dixon was forced to leave office in 2010 after a misdemeanor conviction for using gift cards intended for the needy, which is when Rawlings-Blake took over.

“I can tell you that when I took office Baltimore was in crisis, nobody was looking for the previous mayor to be in leadership here or anywhere,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake.

In a statement today Mayor Rawlings-Blake said, “I look forward to an aggressive campaign that clearly lays out the choice between where Baltimore was when I took office and how far we’ve come under my leadership.

Both candidates were city council presidents who took over the mayor’s office. Dixon replaced Martin O’Malley when he became governor, and Rawlings-Blake automatically became mayor when Sheila Dixon was forced to leave–each went on to win election.

Dixon plans a Labor Day official campaign kickoff .

WATCH THE EXCLUSIVE MAY INTERVIEW HERE:

 

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