Baltimore City Power Rankings: Mayoral edition

Joshua Harris

City Paper doesn't endorse candidates but in the vast field of 29 candidates running for mayor, many of them seeking elected office for the first time, a few candidates caught our attention. Joshua Harris, who CP reporters first ran into at The Crown, is a smart, provocative reformer who works in the arts but focuses a lot of his attention on big business and pushing developers to truly invest in the community. He's a long-shot, but we're watching him. (Click here for details.)

Elizabeth Embry

Elizabeth Embry, Chief of the Criminal Division of the Maryland Attorney General's Office, has mounted a strong campaign for mayor. She has also worked for two mayors and one senses that she knows where the skeletons are and how "the system" works—and she is well-positioned to root out waste and corruption. She also wants to make Baltimore a "beacon for New Americans" and has a plan to encourage these new residents—an extremely refreshing perspective on immigration in the midst of an onslaught of anti-immigrant sentiment. (Click here for details.)

←→ DeRay Mckesson

We want to love DeRay Mckesson, but we're never entirely sure what to make of him. He's consistently cogent at debates, and at a March 1 mayoral forum he was the only candidate to bring up the LGBTQ community substantially. Meanwhile, his stance on issues such as getting rid of the Housing Authority's Paul Graziano, ending the drug war, and so on, are very much are on-point. But Mckesson seems to be running a national campaign for mayor rather than a local one: On Wednesday, he holds a fundraiser in New York at the home of a former Citibank head. What's the deal DeRay? (Click here for details.)

Sheila Dixon

Lately, when we're asked who the City Paper supports for mayor we've joked, "anybody but Sheila Dixon." We're not entirely serious. Dixon remains well-loved in this city for plenty of legitimate reasons, but voting for Dixon, even if, like many in the city, you don't buy into the whole gift cards controversy that got her ousted, is not a move towards change. We've gone through the Baltimore Uprising and that made the city question so many things about how it operated. Going back to a mayor who already had the job, however well-loved and present in the city (and not just downtown like $RB) feels too comfortable. (Click here for details.)

↓ Republicans

The Republicans don't matter very much in the mayoral race but City Paper has nevertheless, been consistently shocked by the cluelessness of at least two Republican candidates. At Tuesday's forum at MedChi, Alan Walden gently spoke sympathetically of drug addicts but demanded we come down even harder on dealers, perpetuating the myth that Baltimore can incarcerate its ways out of its problems. Meanwhile, Armand Girard demands a Giuliani-style approach to crime here and believes the National Guard should occupy East and West Baltimore long term. These are precisely the sort of aggressive policies that got Baltimore to where it is right now. Doubling down on them post-uprising makes little sense. (Click here for details.)

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