BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- A stunning announcement by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. She says she will not seek re-election next year. Her decision dramatically shakes up the 2016 mayoral race, which has already attracted several big name candidates.
Christie Ileto with reaction from of the state and city's top politicos.
Members of City Council and our state Congress thanked the mayor for her 20 years of public service, but say now is the time to keep looking forward to helping the city get back to normal.
It's the shakeup at City Hall many didn't see coming.
"We know this decision probably was not an easy decision," said City Councilman Nick Mosby.
Mosby is also eying the job.
"It's time for us to come together as a city and not really focus on why or what the decision was, but how we can move our city forward in a new trajectory," he continued.
Baltimore is still healing from the scars of the April riots, and this latest departure from City Hall has Councilman Brandon Scott reflecting on the mayor's 20 years of public service, saying his gratitude is personal.
"When no one else gave a young poor guy named Brandon Scott of Park Heights a chance to start his work for the city of Baltimore, Mayor Rawlings-Blake did," he said.
The sudden announcement has Governor Hogan thanking the mayor for her service and their working relationship.
"It takes courage and strength to lead one of America's great cities, and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake stood up and has served the city she loves over the course of two decades. I value my working relationship with the mayor and thank her for her service. Our administrations will continue working together to make Baltimore a better and stronger city."
Congressman Elijah Cummings--calling her a fighter for the people of Baltimore.
"Over the many years that I have known Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, she has been a fighter for the people of Baltimore. For more than 20 years, she has served in City government, and she has dedicated her life to uplifting everyone in our City.
"Even her decision not to seek reelection, in her own words, is based on her commitment to ensuring that she spends the remaining 15 months of her term focused on Baltimore's future, not her own.
"I am deeply grateful for the decades of leadership she has provided to our City, and I remain committed to assisting her in her efforts to move Baltimore forward for the duration of term."
City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby saying:
"I would like to thank and commend Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake for her unwavering service to the city of Baltimore.
"The Mayor has always shown a firm commitment to our residents. I am pleased to know that after her mayoral duties are completed, she will remain devoted to working with city leaders in moving our city forward. I wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors."
And the FOP is looking ahead to leadership that makes partnering with public safety a priority.
"Rank and file and City leadership must always work as a team so that Baltimore is a place people want to live, work and visit. We look forward to leadership that makes partnering with public safety a priority."
Many of the mayor's political colleagues say they're confident she will continue to steer Baltimore forward in her remaining 15 months in office.
for more features.