Mayor not to seek re-election, cites city focus

Posted at 11:44 AM, Sep 11, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-11 11:44:29-04

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will not seek re-election.

Rawlings-Blake called a last-minute press conference Friday morning and made a formal announcement at 10 a.m. at City Hall.

Rawlings-Blake said she needs to focus more time on the city's future and not her own. "I had to ask myself the question, 'at what cost,'" she said. "...I have a track record of making the right decisions for our city's future."

The mayor said she believes she could win re-election, but she believes she needs to focus her attention elsewhere. 

"I have chosen to govern, rather than to campaign," Rawlings-Blake said. "I hope the public sees it that way."

The mayor described the last few months she has in office as a "tough time." She said she has pondered the decision for several months.

"It's something that... has been a nagging concern for me, you know, something I have prayed about a lot."



Rawlings-Blake took over the spot as Baltimore's leader in the wake of former mayor Sheila Ann Dixon's indictment on charges related to misappropriated gift cards.

Dixon, a Democrat, is currently running for mayor.

"I commend Mayor Rawlings-Blake for her 20 years of service to the City of Baltimore. She and her family have made many sacrifices and I think she has earned the right to pursue other goals.  I pray for the Rawlings-Blake family and for the people of Baltimore," Sheila Dixon, who held the position before Rawlings-Blake, said in a statement. 


City councilman Brandon Scott also issued a statement thanking Rawlings-Blake for her service to Baltimore.

"Although, we often disagree I cannot argue with some of the historic progress. This includes the lowest year for violent crime on record in 2011, working to bring a billion dollars in school construction money to our schools and righting the city's fiscal future. No one is perfect and I wish Mayor Rawlings-Blake and her family all the best," Scott said in the statement.

Baltimore FOP president, Gene Ryan also issued a brief statement in the wake of the mayor's announcement, saying, “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.”