BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The race for City Hall heats up. Two high-profile Baltimore politicians are joining the race for mayor. State Senator Catherine Pugh and Councilman Carl Stokes are the latest big names to join the race.
Political reporter Pat Warren takes a look at how this race is shaping up.
Councilman Carl Stokes and State Senator Catherine Pugh are now in the 2016 race for mayor.
“Someone said to me once, `Why do you want to be mayor?’ And I said, ‘Because I eat, drink and sleep the city,'” Pugh said.
Senator Pugh was a very vocal presence on the streets of Baltimore during the April unrest that followed the death of Freddie Gray in police custody, urging protesters to obey the curfew while promising an investigation of police practices.
She tells WJZ her focus is to address issues affecting all city residents.
“Let’s be real clear, it’s not just African-American males because when you go down in some parts of our city down in South Baltimore, we have white males and white folks who are suffering from the same ills. When you look at the changing faces of drug addiction in our city, it’s not just black people. That’s why I’m saying, you’ve got to be a mayor for all people,” Pugh said.
“My heart hurts because I think so much of our city,” Councilman Carl Stokes said.
Stokes says the system isn’t working.
“It’s not moving in the right direction on so many levels. It’s not working for children in the city who can’t find a good education, it’s not working for kids who left school but are unemployed,” he said.
Both Stoke and Pugh are promoting unity.
“What everybody’s looking for is a leader who will pull everything together, that will recognize that we have some problems in Baltimore, but together we can solve them,” Pugh said.
“We have eight months. And so, there’s plenty of time for people to still dialogue with me around what our vision should be for the city of Baltimore,” said Stokes.
There are now four veteran mayoral candidates in the race.
Incumbent Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s first campaign for mayor was 2011. Sheila Dixon was elected in 2007. Catherine Pugh ran for the office in 2011; Carl Stokes in 1999.
There are four other Democrats officially in the race, totaling eight so far, and still counting.
The city primary is scheduled for April 26.