BALTIMORE (AP/WJZ) — City Council President Brandon Scott has won the Democratic nomination for Baltimore mayor, according to the Associated Press.
The victory puts Scott in a strong position to be the next mayor of Baltimore. Democrats outnumber Republicans 10-1 in Baltimore, and the general election in November is mostly seen as a formality.
Scott has been a city councilman since 2011 and became council president last year. He emerged victorious from a field that included more than 20 Democrats, including incumbent Mayor Jack Young and former Mayor Sheila Dixon.
On the Republican side, nonprofit executive Shannon Wright emerged victorious.
Counting the votes has been a slower than usual process since the primary, in large part because so many people voted by mail to avoid the risks of in-person voting amid the coronavirus.
On Tuesday, a week after the June 2 election, Baltimore elections officials announced that nearly every vote had been counted.
Scott, who was endorsed by several unions, proposed a new approach to reducing violence by treating it as a public health crisis, believing that agencies citywide must collaborate with the police department.
He promised to bring down the annual number of homicides to under 300 during his first year in office. That has not happened since 2014.
“Crime has to be addressed in a comprehensive way,” he told The Associated Press ahead of the election.
Positioning himself as a progressive leader, Scott proposed organizational changes to city government, including an overhaul of the board that awards all city contracts.
Most recently, Young signed into law a measure introduced by Scott that provides housing protections to tenants during the pandemic.
At 36, Scott was the youngest of the mayoral Democratic front-runners. He was once mentored by the late U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings and was tabbed for lieutenant governor by an unsuccessful candidate in 2018.
Scott issued the following statement in a news release:
“Tonight, we celebrate a hard-fought victory for the future of Baltimore. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank my family, my team, our volunteers, those who voted for a new way forward for Baltimore, and everyone who believes change is not just possible, but long overdue.
Our city stands at a crossroads. Baltimore will only move forward as a city united, not divided. It will take all of us to build a city that is safe, equitable, and accountable. As a son of Baltimore, I could not be more honored to lead our great city in this critical moment and carry the work forward with you. Thank you.”
Scott also spoke with WJZ’s Vic Carter during WJZ News at 11 following his victory.
“I’m grateful, I’m just grateful, to the citizens of Baltimore for coming out and voting in historic numbers and an election amid a pandemic to vote for change for their city,” Scott said. “I’m grateful they elected a son of Baltimore, someone who’s survived all the things that we know take the lives of too many young people in Baltimore, and I’m grateful they believe that I can represent and lead us through the deep changes that we need to unite this city and bring us together.”
Scott said, should he win the election in November, his mandate is to bring deep change to Baltimore.
“To show that Baltimore can be an equitable city,” he said. “That we can unite our city, that we can reimagine our city government and how it operates from top to bottom and that we can no longer be a city that just throws away neighborhoods and throws away lives of people. That’s my mandate.”
As for City Comptroller, Councilman Bill Henry declared victory Monday night against incumbent Joan Pratt in the Democratic primary. The latest results show him getting 54 percent of the vote compared to Pratt’s 45 percent.
Henry told WJZ Monday night he and his team are confident he will come out on top when all the ballots are counted and is declaring victory.
“They want the Comptroller to be someone who is actively keeping an eye on the mayor, actively looking at the operations of City agencies.”
Henry has worked with both leading candidates for mayor.
“Regardless of which one it is, I still like to see the power dynamic between the mayor and the council change a little bit,” Henry said.
Del. Nick Mosby continues to lead the Democratic field for City Council President; earlier in the day, his nearest challenger, Shannon Sneed, conceded in the race.
Mosby has 54,368 votes, equating to nearly 41 percent. Sneed is in second with 39,134 votes. The winner will take on Republican challenger Jovani Patterson in the fall.
“I would like to thank the City of Baltimore,” Mosby said. “Now is the time we pull our City in a different direction.”
Workers will move on to provisional ballots on Wednesday. Of the roughly 2,000 provisional ballots, 700 were rejected, Jones said.
Stay with WJZ on-air and online for complete election coverage. For the latest results, click here.
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