The week in politics: There are five Republicans in Baltimore, and they're all running for mayor

The week in politics: There are five Republicans in Baltimore, and they're all running for mayor.

Here's The Sun editorial board's weekly take on who's up and who's down in politics:

Elizabeth Embry and Nick Mosby: Up. They were far behind the leaders in the most recent Sun/UB poll of the mayor's race, but they're clearly not giving up. Both came out swinging at this week's Sun/UB/WJZ/League of Women Voters debate with tough knocks on frontrunners Sheila Dixon and Catherine Pugh, businessman David Warnock and even each other.

David Warnock: Down. For someone pitching himself as a non-politician, he sure is good at spewing talking points. Enough with the truck already. He's already spent $1.6 million on this race; how much more is he willing to burn?

Sheila Dixon: Up. She didn't accomplish much at the debate, but she's got the cash edge on Catherine Pugh heading into the race's home stretch and should be able to make substantial TV ad buys. Now's the time to find out whether 25 percent is the floor of her support or the ceiling.

Alan Walden: Down. The former WBAL radio anchor has the biggest name in the Republican mayoral field, so he may well win the primary. Why, then, did he need to go after fellow candidate Larry Wardlow at this week's debate for making what he characterized (unfairly, in our view) as a race-based appeal to Baltimore's black voters?

Larry Wardlow: Up. After Mr. Walden's invective, Mr. Wardlow gave a wry smile at his fellow candidate and launched into the best answer of the day to the question of why he could win in an overwhelmingly Democratic city: "My party was not in office when we got 344 homicides last year. My party was not in office when we got the ... uprising. My party was not in office when we got a homeless population bigger than almost any other city in this country. My party was not in office when we had streets and potholes that you could play Grand Theft Auto on. My party was not in office when we had ... brutalized minorities. ... What makes me the best candidate in the general election is very simple. I live and breathe Baltimore." Nicely put.

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