- Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott defeated several opponents, including incumbent Mayor Bernard “Jack” Young in the Democratic primary for the Baltimore Mayoral Race.
- While the election was expected to be dominated by the city’s coronavirus pandemic response, the events of the last several days have shifted attention to the protests against police brutality and racism.
- Because of the pandemic, the city conducted the election largely with mail-in ballots for the first time ever.
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Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott defeated a crowded field of candidates including Mayor Bernard “Jack” Young, Sheila Dixon, T.J. Smith, Mary Miller, and Thiru Vignarajah in the Democratic primary for the Baltimore mayoral election.
While the election was expected to be dominated by the city’s coronavirus pandemic response, the events of the last several weeks shifted attention to the protests against police brutality and racism.
Young has called Baltimore “a national example” of “passionate” and law-abiding protests and praised his administration’s handling of the demonstrations, which have occurred in dozens of cities across the country in the wake of George Floyd’s killing by a white police officer. But Young’s opponents have criticised him for not taking a more hands-on approach and working with protesters on the ground.
According to the most recent polling, Dixon, Miller, and Scott led the race with Young down in the single digits.
Because of the pandemic, the city conducted the election largely with mail-in ballots, meaning the race wasn’t called for a week after the primary.
But about 66,000 of Baltimore’s 300,000 registered Democrats had already turned in their ballots as of last Saturday, The Baltimore Sun reported. Only 133,000 Democrats voted in the 2016 primary.
Young, who ended up coming in fifth place, took office last year after former Mayor Catherine Pugh was forced to resign in May 2019 amid an unfolding scandal over fraudulent sales of Pugh’s children’s book. Pugh later pleaded guilty to federal tax evasion, fraud, and conspiracy charges and, in February, was sentenced to three years in federal prison.
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