After a contentious primary election in April, State Senator Catherine Pugh won the election for mayor relatively easily. She will become the third African American women to be elected to Baltimore’s highest executive position.
“Everyone knows you don’t get here by yourself,” Pugh said. “I’ve had some great campaign workers so I want to thank all of them.”
She easily defeated Republican candidate Alan Walden, and Green Party candidate Joshua Harris with well over 75 percent of the vote. Controversy followed her after the primary because the decertification of the initial results forced a recount.
Former mayor Sheila Dixon was Pugh’s main competition during the primary but Dixon’s ill timed write-in campaign fell short of coming close to making a difference in the final votes. Dixon did not concede victory even though trailing in the polls.
”I am not going to stop until I see every vote that has been counted,” Dixon said.
Pugh’s victory may appear easily won but the job ahead could prove difficult. She inherited a thorny agenda from Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, whose to-do list included creating jobs, and restoring civic faith to a troubled city.
“We have 76,000 people unemployed in our city; we’ve got to get them working,” she said. “When you get to expand developments all across the city, it’s an opportunity for us to put people to work.”
Another major issue concerning the city is the underdevelopment of several neighborhoods, such as Park Heights. “I’ve said to folks all across the city that while the glass is half full as opposed to half empty, we have neighborhoods that need to be focused on,” she explained.
“You’ll see me in the neighborhoods and in the community,” Pugh added, “because I want to be the mayor of the people.”
Pugh shared a victory podium with Rep. Elijah Cummings,D-Md., who coasted to an easy fourteenth victory, saying, “She is a woman who loves our great city.”
In other results, Rep. Chris Van Hollen,D-Md., claimed the senate seat vacated by Rep Barbara Mikulski,D-Md., after she decided not to seek a seventh term.
Former Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown claimed Van Hollen’s old house seat, marking a return to the political arena. Brown won with more than 70 percent of the vote.
The Baltimore city council will also see a change in leadership with eight seats filled by new members. This election will start a new era in Baltimore politics that will hopefully lead to an improvement in the city.