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Campaign 2024

Politicsby Brew Editors8:47 amMay 14, 20240

Primary day has arrived, Baltimore: Here is what’s at stake

Voters can weigh in on a mayoral rematch, their City Council representative and a contest that could determine which party controls the U.S. Senate in 2025

Above: Campaign signs outside the early voting center at the League for People with Disabilities on East Cold Spring Lane. (Fern Shen)

With the weather for today’s primary looking iffy – scattered showers are expected in the afternoon and evening – the political class is watching the sky.

Turnout statewide was already expected to be low thanks to the drama-free top of the ticket – Democratic incumbent Joe Biden and Republican challenger Donald Trump are each regarded as their party’s presumptive nominees, with the real clash coming in November.

In overwhelmingly blue Baltimore, there’s rarely drama in November. But when it comes to the 2024 nomination for mayor, according to polls at least, there’s nothing presumptive about it.

Former Mayor Sheila Dixon is in a rematch with Mayor Brandon Scott, who beat her four years ago by just over 3,000 votes.

Touting a drop in city homicides, a squeegee worker initiative that got the youths off the street, and other talking points, Scott is gunning for a second term.

Preaching competence and fueled by over $400,000 in campaign contributions and PAC money from conservative media executive David D. Smith and his restaurateur nephew Alex Smith, Dixon is pushing to make her way back to City Hall after resigning in 2010 after a guilty plea following a corruption conviction.

Tech entrepreneur Bob Wallace is also running for the mayoral seat.

Dixon, 70, has styled herself as an experienced manager who can steer the city amid persistent concerns about youth crime and government dysfunction.

The 40-year-old Scott, who got a much-needed political boost from his television appearances following the Key Bridge collapse, has campaigned as the scandal-free leader with a forward-looking agenda that needs four more years for him to complete.

Margo Bruner-Settles at the 1111 East Cold Spring Lane early voting location where she parked her campaign truck. (Fern Shen)

Third District candidate Margo Bruner-Settles next to her campaign truck. (Fern Shen)

Council seats, Senate race

Also before Baltimore voters is the City Council President race, with incumbent Nick Mosby facing challenges by 1st District Councilman Zeke Cohen and former Councilwoman Shannon Sneed.

Mosby filed for re-election despite embarrassing revelations during the federal trial of his ex-wife, Marilyn Mosby, on mortgage fraud charges and, more recently, Brew stories about his unpaid water bills and errant campaign finance reports.

Lower down on the ticket are City Council district races, many of which feature incumbents faced with little or no opposition.

One exception is the Eastside’s 12th District, where Robert Stokes is being challenged by Jermaine Jones, a longtime labor organizer backed by union dollars.

Two other races of note:

• In the northeast, Ryan Dorsey, seeking his third term in the 3rd District, faces Margo Bruner-Settles, a political newcomer who has tried to turn the primary into a referendum on Dorsey’s Complete Streets and bike lanes philosophy.

• In South Baltimore and downtown’s 11th District, a Goliath vs. David contest features Eric Costello, who has received over $400,000 from developer and business interests during this election cycle, and Zac Blanchard, a Marine veteran who is relying on $160,000 in public financing and small donations.

There are, in addition, open seats in the 1st and 8th districts, which means that no matter what Democrat wins the primary, a newcomer to the Council chambers next December is guaranteed.

And in a race that is drawing national interest, voters will decide which Democrat will compete against Republican Larry Hogan, the likely winner of his party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate seat that opened after U.S. Senator Ben Cardin announced his retirement.

In a match-up that could determine which party controls the U.S. Senate next year, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks is locked in a fierce battle with Rep. David Trone.

The polls are open now and will close at 8 p.m. Anyone still in line at 8 p.m. will be allowed to vote.

If you aren’t already registered to vote, you can register at your assigned polling location.

Visit the Maryland State Board of Elections website here for more information.

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