Challengers to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake seized Tuesday on the Fourth of July violence — including the fatal stabbing of an Alabama man and the shooting of a 4-year-old boy around the fireworks display at the Inner Harbor — saying the incidents highlighted persistent problems that foster a culture of violent crime, The Sun's Julie Scharper reports.

"When you fail to invest in education, when you fail to invest in rec centers, you can't be surprised when you see this kind of violence," former city planning director Otis Rolley said.

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Rolley's remarks — along with those of state Sen. Catherine Pugh and former City Councilman Joseph T. "Jody" Landers — came on the final day for candidates to file to register for the city elections. A campaign spokeswoman for Rawlings-Blake declined to respond to their comments.

Pugh, speaking to supporters Tuesday morning after she filed the paperwork to run for mayor, tied the recent attacks to lead poisoning.

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