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And They're Off . . . Mebbe a Little Prematurely

It may only be June, but it's never too late to start thinking about the upcoming election season, right? In case the January appointment of Mayor Sheila Dixon (taking the place of Martin O'Malley, who skipped out to become governor) fooled you into thinking we were stuck with the current administration, we're here to remind you that we're not. This fall, every office in City Hall is up for grabs, and on July 4 we here at Baltimore's Most Civic-Minded Alternative Newsweekly begin our round of Campaign Beat coverage in the hard copy of the paper. And what better day than July 4 to begin our coverage of the Democratic process? Not only is it Independence Day--when good Americans celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence by setting things on fire and trying not to get DUIs on the way home from backyard parties--it's also the first issue of City Paper to come out after the July 2 deadline to file one's intention to run for office. But some local organizations are raring to get a jump on campaign season and aren't willing to wait for that deadline to make their endorsements for the Sept. 11 primaries. Take SEIU 1199 Healthcare Workers East, which has already announced its endorsement of Dixon for mayor. According to an e-mail from the union received on June 25, "Sheila Dixon's devotion to the city of Baltimore as a public servant and her background in early education helped secure her the support of the 30,000 members of the SEIU Maryland and District of Columbia State Council." Hopefully the union doesn't end up with buyer's remorse if, at the last minute, someone unexpected files for mayor on July 2. Yeah, yeah, we know: The city's been waiting for a dynamic candidate to run for mayor for a long time, but lately no one's come close to touching the charisma brought to the office by O'Malley. But what if, as local pundits suggested way back in January and February, someone like a certain former NAACP president/CEO threw his hat in the ring alongside the other announced candidates (City Councilman Keiffer Mitchell, former city schoolteacher Andrey Bundley, state Del. Jill Carter, Circuit Court Clerk Frank Conaway, and former National Action Network secretary Desiree Dodson). Of course, that's not going to happen. But, just like little kids waiting for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, the politically minded writers in CP's newsroom are sitting on the edge of their seats waiting and hoping we might get a nice surprise on the morning of July 2. We've been really good all year--don't we deserve a little something?

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