BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Candidates for Baltimore mayor have tailored their campaigns to adhere to social distancing protocols amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

One mayoral candidate, Thiru Vignarajah, had been face to face with voters for nearly a year.

He was the first person to enter the race for mayor, announcing his candidacy in April 2019, in a pre-coronavirus pandemic world.

“You never know what’s around the bend,” he told WJZ. “This has shown us how dramatic a turn Baltimore can face. [Residents] need a leader who can roll with those punches.”

BALTIMORE MAYORAL CANDIDATES PROFILES:

In 2018, the former federal and city prosecutor ran for Baltimore City State’s Attorney. He lost to incumbent Marilyn Mosby, but won some important name recognition.

“We have run for the longest time, the most nimble, innovative campaign. It has won us supporters all across the city,” Vignarajah said.

His campaign prioritizes fighting crime. His pledge is to end violence and better education. His parents are teachers.

“For decades we’ve had schools where you can’t drink water from the water fountain,” Vignarajah said. There’s no heat in the winter, no air conditioning in the summer. It’s terrible.”

Various polls have found Vignarajah a frontrunner in the race.

“I think that vision for Baltimore, concrete solutions around crime, on the economy on how to fix schools and cut taxes has always served us well. Ever since we got to January and we suddenly went from a long-shot to a frontrunner, we’ve stayed there.”

The primary election is June 2, but you can look for your ballot in the mail coming soon. For those who can’t vote by mail, there will be polls for in-person voting.

Stay with WJZ for more candidate profiles and additional coverage leading up to the June 2 primary election.

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