BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore residents can expect to receive their ballots for the June 2 primary election in the mail starting this week.
One of the main races is for mayor; 32 candidates — seven Republicans, 24 Democrats and one unaffiliated — are vying for the city’s top office.
WJZ is taking a closer look at the candidates hoping to become the next mayor: in this story is current mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young.
Young, who took over the city’s top job nearly a year ago after former mayor Catherine Pugh resigned amid the “Healthy Holly” scandal, has been credited with restoring some balance to the city after the upset of the previous administration.
He was in his tenth year as city council president when the scandal propelled him into the mayor’s office.
“My heart is in the right place and I really want to see the city thrive,” he said in an interview with WJZ. “I want to reduce the murder rate in the city and I want to keep cleaning the city and making opportunities available for our young people and the vulnerable.”
BALTIMORE MAYORAL CANDIDATES PROFILES:
During his time as mayor, Young has put in place a crime plan while stressing the importance of doing more than policing by putting a focus on young people to get them out of the trap of crime and poverty with better housing, better education and better job opportunities.
“I set up the Mayor’s Office of Children and Family Success because I believe in order to reduce crime in this city we have to make sure we heal the family,” he said.
Young has re-opened most recreation centers for children and adults on Saturdays, a first since the 1970s.
It hasn’t been a smooth road; during his tenure, the city has experienced the coronavirus pandemic and a ransomware attack in addition to the highest number of homicides per capita in a single year.
Young said those who claim he’s unconcerned with the violence are wrong.
“I had three nephews gunned down by murders in the city of Baltimore,” he said.
Despite the unprecedented times, Young maintains his passion for the city.
“I just hope the citizens of Baltimore give me the opportunity to have four years so I can carry out the plans for that city that I have that make it a clean, safe and affordable place where everybody can live and people want to live, not forced and trapped but that they want to live in the city of Baltimore,” he said.
Stay with WJZ for more candidate profiles and additional coverage leading up to the June 2 primary election.