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Mayoral Race is on in Baltimore

Posted at 8:36 PM, Apr 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-14 20:36:55-04

If you follow the line of campaign signs outside the any one of the six Baltimore City early voting sites Thursday, you will most likely run into the candidates themselves.

There were hugs, handshakes...the art of the last minute pitch, sometimes even sealed with a kiss.

“It is good to see you," Councilman Carl Stokes said as he hugged and kissed a voter who, as far as he knew or hoped, was set that he was her choice.

Stokes said he likes the campaign he's run but knows there are more votes to be had outside these early voting sites.

"I think at the end of the day we've done well. I think there are still a number of undecideds but as I stand here today I feel that we are getting a good many of people who I think may have been undecided before they walked up here and said, you know what?  I am going to give you a shot at this."

But across town, State Senator Catherine Pugh is aware that, according to polls anyway, more folks are willing to give her a shot at running Baltimore.

The frontrunner was busy on this first day of early voting and cognizant that while she's been running for months, the sprint starts Thursday.

"I tell people we are still running like we are 10 points behind. I am excited that this day is coming closer and closer but we still have to go through the 26th and we're still doing what we are doing to get our message out to the people. We are still talking to people every single day," Pugh said.

Mayoral candidate Elizabeth Embry was still talking to people while she was waiting in line to vote.

Presumably casting a vote for herself and against the same ol’ same ol.’

"I think it is helpful to have the race, to tighten the race and clarify it so it's um...so people have a very obvious choice of status quo versus new leadership that makes a difference in the city," Embry said.

Status quo is also what David Warnock is fighting. In front of an early voting site Thursday, the businessman was banking his last minute efforts on an anti-establishment vote and a new direction for Baltimore.

"Political status quo got us 17,000 vacant houses, 40 percent of the people in Baltimore are not engaged in the work force. We have a real opportunity to go in a different direction and really hammer this culture of low expectations that's been holding us back for too long," Warnock said.

But familiar is what former mayor Sheila Dixon is hoping for.

There were plenty of hugs to go around at the early voting site in West Baltimore and Dixon likes what she's seeing and hearing.

"People are really energized about voting, wanting to see great changes. I was very pleased with some of the conversations people had as they left the polls saying Sheila we want you back, we want you to do even better and I told them I am committed. I am committed all the way."

Early voting begins Thursday through April 21st, early voting sites are open from 10 a.m to 8 p.m.

The primary election will be held on Tuesday, April 26th.

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