As the results for the mayoral race began to roll in on Tuesday night and it became clear around 10 p.m. that State Sen. Catherine E. Pugh had won the primary, mayoral candidate and 12th District City Council member Carl Stokes left the watch party in his East 25th Street campaign headquarters and stepped into a side room.
He spoke privately with his daughters there as the chatter in the larger room quieted and the 30 supporters in attendance gathered around the television as polling data rolled in.
Soon after, Councilman Stokes stepped from the room and made his way to the podium where he stood between his two daughters. The small crowd applauded, then grew silent as Stokes made eye connection with everyone in the room
As he conceded the race, he talked about running a campaign he was proud of. He thanked his team and all of their hard work, and praised a clean campaign devoid of controversy, proclaiming, “You absolutely beat every campaign in the City of Baltimore.”
He didn’t think he or his supporters should feel defeated. “We feel good. We feel strong. We feel powerful,” he said. “I’m going to stay in public service. I don’t have to be elected to do that.”
He ended with a familial, friendly reminder for everyone to get home safely—and smiled and shook hands with every supporter one last time as they exited the building.