Baltimore City Power Rankings: $RB, BPD, State Sen. Pugh, more

↑ State Sen. Pugh

State Sen. Catherine Pugh emerged victorious in Tuesday's mayoral primary. That means, in this largely Democratic city, she is more than likely Baltimore's next mayor. Though she may be displeased at the increased scrutiny she's under—with questions swirling about the ethics of some of her campaign contributions from lobbyists and others—she will have to get used to the spotlight. There's a tremendous opportunity to right this listing ship, Baltimore, and we were delighted to hear her affirm, the day after the primaries, that Housing Commissioner Paul Graziano would be one of the first to get the ax.

↑ Political change

Baltimore's political establishment took a mighty hit on Tuesday night as the City Council election results came in. William "Pete" Welch, who inherited his 9th District seat from his mother, lost in a landslide to upstart John T. Bullock, while across town in the 13th, Warren Branch ran a lackluster campaign against a surging Shannon Sneed, who crushed him by more than three-to-one. In the 5th District, Betsy Gardner, running to replace 38-year incumbent Rochelle "Rikki" Spector with Spector's endorsement lost by nearly 400 votes to newcomer Isaac "Yitzy" Schleifer. Meanwhile, Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young saw his challenger, activist Kim Trueheart, collect nearly 35,000 votes, Edward Reisinger in District 10 barely hung on against a raft of opponents, and five other political neophytes won races for seats opening up as the old guard retires. Whatever happens in November, Baltimore's 15-member City Council will be more than half new.

↓ Public Safety

On that same election night, four people were shot to death, and one other was shot in the head. By week's end 10 people had been killed in Baltimore City amid a bizarre bomb threat at Fox 45 and two more police-involved shootings. If violence is a disease, Baltimore is getting sicker.

↓ BPD

On Wednesday, police shot 14-year-old Dedric Colvin who fled when the two plainclothes officers chased him. The cops mistook the African-American boy's BB gun for a real gun and put two bullets in him. The 8th grader is in intensive care at Johns Hopkins and is going to survive. Leaving aside the questions and ongoing investigation into whether the shooting was justified, the police fumbled the response. First, cops on the scene dealt with the boy's distraught mother by handcuffing her, then taking her to police HQ for questioning instead of taking her to the hospital. Then—bait and switch—the Commish didn't focus on apologizing for the shooting in his initial press conference but implied the mother was to blame for letting her boy have a BB gun. Good cop, bad mom—terrible spin.

↓ $RB

With her likely successor picked, Il Mayore went about the business of providing a Day of Reconciliation near Mondawmin Mall, a year to the day when rioting broke out nearby. Thing is, if you took away all the media, officials, and religious leaders, the audience was puny. And the mayor's speech bordered on listless. A day later, Boss Hög took a swipe at $RB at the American Action Forum, saying he basically forced her hand for bringing in the National Guard during the riot and saying he never got so much as a thank you. "We're going to have a new mayor, though," he said. "Her career is over." The merits of those remarks aside, the mayor's spokesman declined to comment and offered a statement about preferring to govern, blah, blah, blah. Ms. Rawlings-Blake, we know our Power Rankings have never looked kindly upon your administration, but we hope that you have a little more fight left for your final days in office.

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