Catherine Pugh, the Majority Leader of the Maryland State Senate and the representative of the 40th district, won the Democratic mayoral nomination on Tuesday, April 26 after a close race with former mayor Sheila Dixon. The race was decided by less than 3,000 votes.
“My message is being inclusive. My message is about lifting the least of us while we lift all of us,” said Pugh in her victory speech. “We are going to work together. We’re going to build great neighborhoods throughout the city.”
Pugh, a three-term senator, took an early lead through early voting two weeks ago, which put her ahead of Dixon during the primary.
“We’ve got to build on what this campaign stood for. It stood for love of the people of this city,” said Dixon in her concession speech.
Lawyer Elizabeth Embry was third in votes with approximately 12%. Other candidates like social activist DeRay McKesson and businessman David Warnock trailed behind in the crowded field of Democrats.
“It is my belief that everything I’ve done to this point has prepared me for this moment. We will move our city forward,” said Pugh. In total, her campaign raised over 1 million dollars since Pugh announced her candidacy in September of 2015.
Former WBAL radio anchor Alan Walden won the Republican nomination with approximately 41% of the vote. Pugh and Walden will go head-to-head in the general election in November. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, in office since 2011, announced in September of last year that she would not be seeking reelection come November.
While final numbers are still being tabulated, it appears that over 130,000 Baltimore residents came out to vote despite problems with polling places and ‘I Voted’ sticker shortages. This is the highest voter turn-out for a Baltimore primary since 1999. This is almost double the number of voters who made it to the polls in 2011’s mayoral race.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen won the Democratic nomination for the Maryland Senate seat that is being vacated by Senator Barbara Mikulski, defeating Rep. Donna Edwards. Van Hollen took an early lead in the race that was predicted to be more hotly contested than it ended up being.
Van Hollen has been a congressman for seven terms and serves as the representative for Maryland’s 8th district. Throughout his campaign, he had picked up big name endorsements from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the Washington Post, and former mayor Martin O’Malley.
The day after Van Hollen’s victory, Mikulski and Sen. Ben Cardin hosted a conference at Jimmy’s Restaurant in Fell’s Point to back Van Hollen against Republican state Delegate Kathy Szeliga for the Senate seat.
“I’m comfortable not only handing over the reins but riding on the buckboard to help him to get elected,” said Mikulski at the news conference.
Democrat Bernard C. “Jack” Young retained his position as City Council President, beating out activist Kim Trueheart, who still received a surprising 30% of the vote.
Donald Trump won the Maryland Republican Presidential primary, defeating Senator Ted Cruz and Governor John Kasich, with over 54% of the vote. Hillary Clinton won the Democratic primary, defeating Senator Bernie Sanders by almost 30% of the vote.