Illustration by Stephanie Shafer

When Sheila Dixon calls me a little after 9:30 a.m., the day after she announced she was bringing her failed run for mayor back to life, she is leaving one interview and being driven to another one.

She doesn't have a lot of time to spread her message.


"My commitment is to the people of this city," she says.

In the time since she announced, her official Twitter feed, @SheilaforMayor, has been revived, and she's already done a few television and newspaper interviews. I ask her if the media blitz that she's on is to make up for lost time.

"Just to…let the public know that I'm still in the race and let people have other options. There were people who weren't going to vote in this general election. They got very discouraged about what happened in the primary. This is a way to get people to get out and vote and think it's important. This race is not over."

Dixon said that she was just fine living a private life (she works with the Maryland Minority Contractors Association), but that people were telling her that they planned on writing her in, anyway. If you write someone in and they don't officially file with the Board of Elections, she says, it doesn't count.

She also says that no one else in the race, not even State Sen. Catherine Pugh, has leadership ability or knowledge that she does.

"Pugh hasn't been in city government. She served one term in City Council," Dixon says. "People are leaving the city. People are fearful, people are wanting the best."

Back in April, after her loss seemed official on the night of the primary, Dixon hinted that she wasn't going anywhere. "I'm not through yet," she told the crowd gathered at Game Sports Bar near the Horseshoe Casino.

Later she told City Paper "I live in this city, I'm committed to this city, and I'm going to continue to work here in this city."

"I'm working on an initiative right now, an empowerment and wellness center in Zone 17 so I'm going to put some emphasis and energy into that because it's about empowering people. I'm not going to go away, I'm not moving."

That Dixon even entered the race in the first place was remarkable: She was forced out of office in 2010, accused of using donated gift cards for personal reasons. Although that fact cast a long shadow over her primary run, her supporters seemed to be happy to put the past behind them.

There have been quite a few dramatic turns in this mayor's race. Dozens ran, with anti police brutality activist DeRay Mckesson registering as a candidate at the last minute, right before the time period expired.

Primary election day voting was plagued with problems, and Baltimore election officials decertified the results for a while so that they could review ballots. Activist groups also complained that some polling stations opened late and some ex-offenders received inaccurate information from the Board of Elections, leading them to believe that they could not vote.

In the end, Pugh bested Dixon by 2,449 votes. Lawyer Elizabeth Embry came in a distant third.

"I…encourage the Board of Elections to rectify the issues with judges and training, late poll openings and collection of Election Day data before the November elections so that the people of Baltimore have full faith in the administration of elections in our city," Dixon told the Baltimore Sun, after announcing she wouldn't challenge the results.


In addition to Pugh, Dixon will go up against Republican Alan Walden and Green Party nominee Joshua Harris, and five other write-in candidates.

A staffer who answered Pugh's phone shortly after Dixon announced her re-entry into the election said Pugh had no comment, and that the Democratic candidate for mayor was busy doing the work required to get elected. Calls to Harris and Walden were not returned.