Sneed concedes in close City Council primary race

Shannon Sneed conceded her closely contested race to unseat City Councilman Warren Branch in a message on her campaign Facebook page late Thursday.

The television producer congratulated Branch and pledged to continue her activism in East Baltimore.

"We have come to the end of a long journey," Sneed wrote. "Though I was not selected to be the next council member, I will still be working tirelessly in our community. I would like to congratulate our councilman on his race, and I know if he succeeds then our community succeeds."

Sneed, who lost to Branch by 43 votes in the Democratic primary last week, also thanked her family, friends and neighbors who worked on her campaign and said she was "thankful for the opportunity I had to get to know many of the great residents of District 13." She did not return phone calls.

Baltimore City Elections Board officials certified primary election results Friday. With the final votes counted and certified, no races changed leaders or became close enough to require a recount, election officials said.

David Smallwood, who lost to Councilwoman Helen Holton in District 8 by about 1,000 votes, plans to launch a "District 8 action committee." The group would include community members and aim to hold elected officials accountable, said his campaign manager, Betty Hickey.

She said Smallwood's showing, despite the loss, demonstrates his following has grown in the district. "You will be hearing a lot more from Mr. Smallwood. He is not going away," Hickey said.

No one has filed as an official write-in candidate for the Nov. 8 general election. But Michael Johnson, who finished fifth in the District 9 race, said he planned to launch such a campaign. Councilman William "Pete" Welch won the Democratic Party primary in that race.

Johnson noted that Welch garnered 35 percent of the vote out of nine candidates. The crowded field of "qualified candidates split up needed votes to unseat what is evidently not the choice of the people," he wrote in an email.

Only 23 percent of 325,000 registered voters cast ballots in the Sept. 13 primary election — the lowest turnout in the city's history.

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