Baltimore Mayor decides not to seek re-election

Posted at 11:22 PM, Sep 14, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-14 23:22:59-04

"I chose governing.  I can understand while, particularly those who are prone to criticism anyway would say it's giving up.  It's not.  It is giving in to the my current assignment as Mayor."

And for the next 15 months that she'll have that title, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake says she's committed to Baltimore, instead of campaigning in a growing field of Mayoral candidates.

"There's no one who is running that has shown themselves to have accomplished more in tough times.  I've shown that I can be a leader that is unafraid to make tough decisions," Rawlings-Blake said.

None tougher than in the cities darkest days back in April.

Rawlings-Blake said "It was ugly and it was painful, and traumatic, but I also know we made the priority the right thing and that was life.  Protect life first, then property.  Looking back in hindsight, is there anything that you would have done differently."

"Did we do everything perfect, I don't think everybody claimed that we did, did we make good decisions based on the information that we had at the time, I believe over time people will see that we did," she said.

Now that her department is equipped with both, the Mayor says the city is prepared in the event of other unrest in light of the 6 upcoming officer trials in connection with Freddie Gray's death.

Rawlings-Blake added "We know now we had equipment that was not up to the task.  Now we have new equipment.  We know now that we needed better training for our officers."

While the multi-million dollar settlement Gray's family struck with the city remains controversial, Rawlings-Blake says it enables the city to shift the focus to healing.

"I did not think the city would benefit by 4,5,6 year process drawn out in federal court," the Mayor said.

While she's focusing on the future of Baltimore right now.....what's the future hold for Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and her family.

"I'm not President of the conference of Mayor's by accident.  People around the country have seen what I've been able to do in Baltimore and they have a tremendous amount of respect," Rawlings-Blake said.