BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore City Council President Jack Young took the reins at midnight of the City, and he said he hopes he, along with other city leaders, can stabilize the City to move forward.

The 64-year-old has served on City Council for more than two decades, and is approaching a re-election year in 2020.

WJZ asked Tuesday morning if he planned on permanently seeking the City’s top seat.

“Everybody knows that was my dream job, I will be running for President of City Council in Baltimore,” Young said.

He said in a press conference Tuesday he understands how traumatizing the past few weeks have been for Baltimore.

“The past few weeks have been painful and traumatizing for all of us. Like each of you, I am heartbroken,” Young said.

He also announced that Sharon Middleton will be acting City Council President.

Surrounded by city leaders, Young said he looks forward to serve as a “stabilizing force in the City,” and said the work is just beginning.

“Baltimore is strong and resilient, and the team that we have here, we’re going to move the city forward. I’m just asking for trust and faith and prayers, so we can get the job done,”

He also said he will run the city until the mayor returns or makes a decision to leave office.

The ex-officio mayor did not give his official position on a resignation from Mayor Pugh, but did encourage the State to continue its work looking into the matter.

“Like I said earlier and I stand by my previous remarks the governor has called the special prosecutor to look into this matter, the Maryland state house delegation and the Senate is looking into this, I want them to continue to do their work while I continue to do the work for the city, so I stand by that comment,”

Baltimore City Councilman Ryan Dorsey said that Baltimore is, “going to have to face its next steps in continuing to move the operation of government forward when it happens.”

There has been no word on when- or if- Mayor Pugh will return to office.

Dorsey took to Twitter ahead of a press conference on Tuesday and said that, “Pretty sure this leave of absence is only to allow Mayor Pugh use holding office as leverage while negotiating resignation terms.”

Baltimore City Councilman Brandon Scott said that people want to see a city and know that their leadership is still going to work.

“People want to see that their city leadership is still going to work,” he said. “We can’t be distracted by the things that are going on.”

Acting Mayor Young said that he thinks the investigation into Mayor Pugh’s dealings should move forward, but that he is focused on running the city.

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Kimberly Eiten

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