BALTIMORE – Baltimorehis re-election campaign Saturday by drawing contrasts with challenger Sheila Dixon.
"The old ways weren't working fast enough—or at all—to move Baltimore forward," Mayor Scott said.
Scott did not mention Dixon by name in his prepared remarks at Cahill Recreation Center, but argued against going back to "the old ways."
"Because, they thought the possibly wouldn't get caught putting their personal gain ahead of Baltimore's public trust? Does that sound like something going back to you?" Scott said.
In the limited polling on the mayoral race, Dixon has a 12-point lead on Scott in a September Goucher Poll. They were the top two vote-getters in the 2020 mayoral primary, with Scott edging Dixon by two percentage points.
"Quite a bit can change in four years," Roger Hartley, Dean of University of Baltimore's College of Public Affairs, said. "People can sometimes forgive and she may be betting on forgiveness. Mayor Scott is really trying to remind everybody that's still there."
This is Dixon's third attempt at returning to the mayor's office after leaving prior to an embezzlement conviction in 2010. She began this campaign with an apology to voters.
"A mistake was made. I suffered. I've paid," she said at her campaign kickoff in September.
Last week, Councilmember Eric Costello, who represents much of downtown and the business district, endorsed Dixon. He cited "dysfunction" at City Hall.
"Her passion for the city is clear and it's unmatched," Costello said of Dixon.
Mayor Scott touted his administration's work lowering the homicide and non-fatal shooting rates, declines in vacant buildings, building new recreation centers, and creating a squeegee collaborative.
"Even though we were building the plane while we were flying it, despite having plenty of a ways to go, we have made significant progress," Mayor Scott said of the accomplishments in the wake of a pandemic.
Hartley says the mayor will likely highlight public safety data.
"And, (if) the mayor can effectively communicate that, then he may be able to say, 'Look, there's progress. And I need another four years,'" Hartley said.
The candidate filing deadline is Feb. 9, 2024. Maryland's primary election is May 14, 2024.
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