Brandon Scott pulls ahead in Baltimore mayoral race
Undecided voters who turned to Scott at the last minute helped pull the City Council president ahead. There are still over 15,000 votes yet to be counted.
Above: Brandon Scott speaks at the February 5 forum for mayoral candidates. (Fern Shen)
Brandon M. Scott has edged ahead of Sheila Dixon in the latest results released by state elections officials in the Democratic Party primary for Baltimore’s next mayor.
Scott pulled ahead of Dixon by 388 votes in figures posted at 9:50 p.m. tonight by the Maryland Board of Elections.
Scott has not only steadily gained on Dixon, but has drawn ahead of three other candidates – Mary Miller, Thiru Vignarajah and Bernard C. Young – who have seen their percentage of primary votes shrink over the weekend.
There are more than 15,000 Democratic Party votes yet to be counted, according to election watchers, making the final victor still uncertain.
Two factors appear to account for Scott’s surge – an unexpectedly higher voter turnout and a preponderance of undecided voters who turned to Scott in the final days before the primary.
“It’s the under-55, wait-to-the-last minute voter who is going for Brandon,” Marvin James, Scott’s campaign manager, told The Brew tonight.
So far, more than 150,000 city residents have voted in the primary – higher than the number in 2016 where Catherine Pugh narrowly defeated Dixon.
The early vote count this year, which favored Dixon, consisted of mail-in ballots turned in days before the primary and in-person votes on primary day (where Dixon beat Scott 1,356 to 1,168).
But as the elections board began counting “last minute” mail-in ballots – those postmarked on Monday and Tuesday – the tide turned in favor of the 36-year-old City Council president.
BRANDON SCOTT – 39,043 (28.7%)
SHEILA DIXON – 38,655 (28.4%)
MARY MILLER – 21,002 (15.5%)
THIRU VIGNARAJAH – 15,559 (11.4%)
BERNARD C. YOUNG – 8,650 (6.4%)
T.J. SMITH – 8,037 (5.9%)