Thirteen candidates are running in the Democratic primary for mayor of Baltimore, Maryland

Thirteen candidates are running in the Democratic primary for mayor of Baltimore, Maryland, on May 14, 2024. Three lead in fundraising and local media attention: incumbent Brandon Scott (D), Sheila Dixon (D), and Bob Wallace (D).

Local political observers say crime is a central issue for both the Scott and Dixon campaigns.

According to the Baltimore Sun, Dixon is likely to focus her campaign on a similar section of the electorate as in 2020, which it described as “Black voters, many of whom named crime as their top concern.” Dixon says her policies as mayor “led to 30-year record lows in crime and homicides.” Scott’s challenge “is more complicated that [sic] lowering the homicide rate. The battle is also over the public perception of crime among city residents, some of whom find little solace in the city’s diminished homicide count,” according to the Baltimore Sun.

Scott was first elected in 2020 and is running on his record: “We have been able to decrease crime by doing it the right way.” Scott says he offers “a choice to make about whether we will continue on the sustainable path forward, or if we will go back to the broken ways and failed leadership of the past.”

Dixon is a former mayor and city council member who resigned in 2010 as part of a plea deal following a corruption investigation. Dixon says she is running because Scott is mismanaging the city: “I look at city government today, and I don’t recognize it anymore. I see firsthand that it’s letting people down daily.” In 2020, Scott defeated Dixon 29.6%–27.5% in the Democratic primary.

Wallace is a businessman and author of books on wealth creation and entrepreneurship. Wallace says he is running because “today’s Baltimore presents challenges for our Black sons and daughters.” Wallace says he will create the position of city manager/chief ethics officer, pursue partnerships with businesses to attract $1 billion of investment, and overhaul the city’s schools. In 2020, Wallace ran for mayor as an independent. Scott defeated him 70.5%–20.2%.

Also running in the primary are Wayne Baker (D), Wendy Bozel (D), Texas Brown (D), Kevin P. Harris (D), Wendell Hill-Freeman (D), Yolanda Pulley (D), Joseph Scott (D), Keith Scott (D), Thiru Vignarajah (D), and Yasaun Young (D).

The last Republican mayor of Baltimore was Theodore McKeldin (R) in 1967.