Whether it was the Baltimore riots, the crime spike, which followed or firing the city's top cop, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has been second-guessed by her critics for months, and facing the upcoming trials of six police officers in Freddie Gray's death and a Justice Department probe, she's elected not to seek re-election.
"Over the past few months, as I've been making plans for what I know is a vigorous campaign, I realized that every moment that I spent planning for a campaign or a re-election was a time that I was taking away from my current responsibilities to the city," said the mayor.
Rawlings-Blake says her campaign machine is as finely tuned as it has ever been, which made it even more difficult for her to decide to walk away at the end of her current term.
"I knew that this would be a very hotly contested campaign, and I haven't lost a campaign since middle school and Anthony Watson isn't in this campaign so it's not that I didn't think I could win,” said Rawlings-Blake, “I just had to ask myself the question, 'At what cost?'"
In spite of the recent turmoil surrounding her job, at least one city councilman and possible future candidate for the office, Brandon Scott, says her announcement shows a level of commitment to Baltimore that is admirable to say the least.
"What the mayor decided is the utmost leadership,” said Scott, “Many people would not put themselves aside to do what's best for 622,000 people. The average person does not do that and for the mayor to remove herself from what was going to be a political circus about a young man's death and turning a young man's death into a campaign, which is something no one who has a heart should do, but we know that was going to happen, for her to do that shows a lot of leadership and strong will and care for our city."
The mayor says she looks forward to spending more time with her family at the end of her term, but she did not rule out running for higher office in the future.