Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Carl Stokes Is Running For Mayor

City Councilman Carl Stokes announced on Monday his candidacy for for mayor of Baltimore City. The majority of Remington, everything south of W. 28th Street as well as western portions of the neighborhood north of 28th, is represented in City Council by Stokes.

Stokes hinted at his intentions in a recent GRIA meeting, where he also expressed his strong support for the rezoning legislation proposed by the group. The legislation would restore commercial zoning to a set of commercially built properties in Remington, greatly easing the path for potential business to open in the spaces.

"The problems we face--too few jobs, too much crime, high taxes, and far too many under-performing schools--are old problems that we have been dealing with in old ways without success," Stokes said in his online announcement. "We need new, aggressive, effective solutions."

Stokes joins a field of candidates that includes former mayor Sheila Dixon and State Sen. Catherine Pugh, and current mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who has her campaign headquarters in Remington at the intersection of 28th and Cresmont Avenue.

The Democratic primary election will be held on April 26th. The general election is November 8th but is generally a non-event for city offices, though media-friendly mugging victim Conner Meek will run against the Democratic nominee as an independent candidate. Democrats have held the mayor's office since 1967.

Stokes also ran for mayor in 1999, coming in second to Martin O'Malley. O'Malley left the mayor's office mid-term when he was elected Governor of Maryland in 2006. Dixon, who was City Council President at the time, was elevated to mayor automatically and won a full term in 2007. Dixon resigned in 2010 as a condition of probation on a minor fraud conviction involving misappropriated gift cards. Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who was City Council President at the time, was elevated to mayor automatically and won a full term in 2011.

Stokes briefly considered a run for Baltimore's top job in 2011, but decided instead to run for re-election to his current seat, which had just been redistricted to include Remington. He has been a visible presence in the neighborhood since then.

**Update** Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced Friday morning (9/11/2015) that she will not seek re-election. This story has been edited in light of this news.