Dogged by critics, Baltimore mayor drops re-election bid
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie-Rawlings Blake announced on Friday that she will not seek re-election. She said she is stepping out of the race to focus on “work to move our city forward,” and not out of any concern she might not win the race against a growing field of challengers. The announcement from the mayor comes a day after officials said the city would pay Freddie Gray’s family $6 million to settle civil claims over his spinal injury.
The mayor said she believes she could have won re-election, pointing to her work on the city’s budget and pension system. However, she said, not seeking re-election was the best decision. Rawlings-Blake made a splash in the Baltimore political scene in 1995, when she became the youngest person elected to the Baltimore City Council at the age of 25.
She became council president in 2007 and was appointed mayor in 2010, when Dixon resigned following a misdemeanor conviction involving the theft of gift cards. Rawlings-Blake won a full term in 2012, and quickly established a reputation as a budget hawk, creating what her office touted as the city’s first 10-year fiscal plan to help the jurisdiction deal with its long-term financial challenges.
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