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Baltimore's mayoral race: An early peek at the candidates

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who was automatically elevated to the city's top post when Sheila Dixon resigned, will likely face off against Otis Rolley, who created the city's first master plan when he served as director of the planning department in 2006 under then- mayor Martin O'Malley.

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Other possible challengers include Clerk of Court Frank Conaway Sr., state Sen. Catherine Pugh, Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young and Councilman Carl Stokes. Even Scott Donahoo, known for the wacky TV commercials for his car dealerships, is rumored to be running.

Former congressman and director of the national NAACP Kweisi Mfume is said to be contemplating a run, although he says his sole focus is running the National Medical Society right now.

Politicos say Mfume, a gifted orator and a well-known name in Baltimore, could give Rawlings-Blake a run for her money. However, his name has been mentioned as a candidate since 1999 and he has never launched a bid for office. But the landscape could change dramatically before applications for the $155,000 a year position are due in July 2011.

Early stories on the 2007 mayor's race focused on Dixon and City Comptroller Joan Pratt, who wound up dropping out of the race early. Keiffer Mitchell, who was Dixon's major challenger in the race, is barely mentioned.

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