They're not exactly sure who's asking the questions, but some Baltimore residents in recent weeks say they've been queried by a polling group seeking their opinions about a list of people some have speculated could be interested in running for mayor in 2016.
Stephen J. Gewirtz, a Charles Village resident, said he was polled by telephone last month and asked for his opinion about Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, former Mayor Sheila Dixon, City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young and author Wes Moore, among others.
Gewirtz said the polling firm asked him questions about numerous Rawlings-Blake policies and then for his opinion of people rumored to be considering runs against her.
"They asked me, 'What do I think of different people? Do I like the stuff Rawlings-Blake is doing to cut property taxes? Do I like the way the way she's reforming pensions?'" Gewirtz said. "I think it was a very early attempt to see what people think about some issues."
He said the pollster asked him to rate different candidates, and repeatedly mentioned Moore, the author, which surprised Gewirtz, because Moore is not a politician, and has said he has no intention to run for office.
The poll's sponsor "must be concerned about Wes Moore the way his name popped in all the time," Gewirtz said.
Asked about the poll, Dixon, Moore, and Young's office denied involvement. Dixon said she'd heard from two women who'd been polled, but didn't know who was behind it.
Rawlings-Blake's campaign treasurer, Charles G. Tildon III, said he knew nothing about the poll.
As for Gewirtz, he says he wasn't asked the one question he really wanted to sound off about.
"My big hatred is for all these subsidies for developers," he said.
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