Baltimore state's attorney candidates to debate Wednesday morning on radio

The three candidates for Baltimore state’s attorney are scheduled to participate in an hour-long debate Wednesday on the "Larry Young Morning Show," a day before early voting is scheduled to begin.

The debate is scheduled for 8 a.m. on 1010 WOLB on AM radio.

It marks the second time the three candidates will debate before the Democratic primary election June 26. They met last week for a debate hosted by The Baltimore Sun, WJZ-TV and the University of Baltimore Schaefer Center for Public Policy.

In their first meeting, the candidates wasted little time attacking one another. Defense attorney Ivan Bates and former Maryland Deputy Attorney General Thiru Vignarajah blamed incumbent Marilyn Mosby for the city’s escalating gun violence. They accused her of rushing to prosecute six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray; none were convicted.

Mosby branded her challengers as out-of-towners who are leveling misleading attacks against her. Both Bates and Vignarajah had been sued over whether they lived long enough in Baltimore to qualify for the ballot. A judge threw out both lawsuits.

The campaign heated up this week as Mosby and Vignarajah criticized Bates for inflating his success as a city homicide prosecutor nearly two decades ago.

On Tuesday, Mosby appeared with dozens of influential African-American pastors at the historic Orchard Street United Methodist Church downtown. The pastors pledged support for Mosby and urged their congregations to vote early, saying they would send emails, place phone calls and have vans ready to take voters to the polls in support of Mosby.

Mosby, 38, is running for a second four-year term as Baltimore’s top prosecutor. She rose to national prominence during the Gray case three years ago, and has become a frequent target of criticism from the Baltimore Police Department.

Bates, 49, a former prosecutor and Army veteran, is a longtime defense attorney and senior partner of the Bates & Garcia law firm.

Vignarajah, 41, is a former federal prosecutor who also worked in the state’s attorney’s office under Mosby’s predecessor, Gregg Bernstein. He is a former president of the Harvard Law Review.

tprudente@baltsun.com

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