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Howard P Rawlings

Ambitious Rawlings-Blake faces big challenge

Ambitious Rawlings-Blake faces big challenge

Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake, the daughter of a powerful former state delegate, knew she wanted to pursue a career in politics at an age when most girls are playing with dolls. And within months of graduating from law school, she was elected to the City Council, where she earned a reputation for a terse, businesslike style and eventually rose to the council presidency. Now, as Mayor Sheila Dixon prepares to step down as part of a plea deal in her criminal case, Rawlings-Blake, 39, is about to assume the city's highest office, in accordance with the city charter. She will take power at a turbulent time - the city faces a large budget shortfall and cuts to key services, a looming...