BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Maryland’s former Deputy Attorney General Thiru Vignarajah announced he will run for Mayor of Baltimore in 2020.
Vignarajah released a statement Wednesday sharing his intention to run “after four consecutive years of record crime and staggering corruption” in the city.
“What we have endured in Baltimore is heartbreaking and humiliating. From our street corners to City Hall, I am running to put an end to crime and corruption,” Vignarajah said.
“We all know Baltimore is a city of resilience and unfilled promise. With ideas and integrity, we can forge the Baltimore our parents dreamed of, the city we have promised to our children, a city of safe streets, good jobs, and great schools, no matter where you live or who you are.,” he added.
Vignarajah said he was the first to call for the resignation of UMMS CEO Robert Chrencik and Mayor Catherine Pugh, and was among the first to call for the resignation of former Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa last year.
So far in his career, Vignarajah served as Deputy Attorney General, Assistant United States Attorney, and Chief of Baltimore City’s Major Investigations Unit. Currently, he is an equity partner at DLA Piper, a Baltimore law firm.
“Baltimore is in crisis. There is no plan, no vision, no sense of urgency. We are victims of soaring crime, a shrinking economy, and staggering corruption—we are also victims of low expectations and a deficit of leadership,” said Vignarajah in his statement. “Fixing Baltimore will be a marathon and a sprint. But we will never achieve our full promise until we end the bloodshed and root out political corruption.”
He said he’ll focus on fixing schools, creating an inclusive economy, expanding affordable housing and rebuilding the transit system.
Vignarajah said he’ll take on everyday problems too — like the squeegee boys.
Matthew Crenson, a political scientist, said that there is a lot of potential in who could run for Mayor of Baltimore in 2020.
“Lots and lots of people,” he said. “They’re smart people. I think that’s another thing to be hopeful about. We have a bunch of young leaders in this city who are quite able, seem quite intelligent and are ambitious.”
In the 2016 election, there were a dozen candidates running for Mayor of Baltimore after Stephanie Rawlings-Blake decided not to run for re-election.