Making official what the city has long known, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott will kick off his campaign for a second term today.
Scott, who came up on the city’s west side and has been passionate about programs to support city youth, will make the announcement at the Cahill Recreation Center this afternoon at 4001 Clifton Avenue.
“Since taking office, Mayor Scott has kept his promise to bring generational change to Baltimore City government,” proclaims an email his campaign released, pointing to “a decreasing crime rate, historic investments in our schools and youth and the lowest number of vacant properties in a decade.”
“But Mayor Scott isn’t done yet,” the message sent by Scott’s campaign manager Nick Machado says, announcing today’s event.
“He knows our progress is at stake, and that now is not the time to move back toward leadership that has failed us before.”
In this, the 39-year-old Scott makes a none-too-veiled reference to his highest-profile opponent, 69-year-old former Mayor Sheila Dixon, who kicked off her campaign in September.
Dixon has been out of office for more than a decade – she resigned in 2010 as part of a corruption case plea agreement – but is pitching herself as a tough-on-crime candidate who can improve city services.
Scott’s campaign takes a jab at his opponent again on the homepage, which declares that Scott “represents a new generation of leadership that is moving Baltimore forward after decades of corruption and disinvestment.”
Today’s announcement is another step in the lead-up to a looming political rematch: Scott entered office in 2020 after narrowly defeating Dixon in the Democratic primary.
Scott also faces businessman Bob Wallace, who ran against Scott as an independent in 2020 and is running against him in 2024 as a Democrat.
Ahead of the May 14, 2024 primary (the decisive race in a city where Democrats overwhelmingly outnumber Republicans), Scott has been crisscrossing the city with upbeat messages, launching a 90-day blitz on potholes and illegal dumping, conducting neighborhood walk-throughs and promising ambitious rec center overhauls.
He has also parried criticism of his administration in a number of areas, including the Police Department’s role in the July mass shooting in the Brooklyn neighborhood that left two people dead and 28 injured.
Machado, in one of his pre-kickoff emails, described the candidate as an inspirational leader he first encountered as an employee at a nonprofit.
“Everyone has a story about a figure they have spoken to who inspired them to get involved. Some folks met Barack Obama. Others met Bobby Kennedy. Many in Baltimore have met Elijah Cummings. I met Brandon Scott,” he wrote.
“Then-Council President Brandon Scott was an energizer. He made you want to get involved in your community. He made you want to be a part of the process,” Machado continued. “For me, he planted the seed, and the rest is history.”