City Paper's Primary Election live blog

City Paper's Primary Election live blog
(Photo Illustration by Charlie Herrick)

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With nearly two-thirds of precincts reporting, Pugh's lead over Dixon is a little more than 3,000 votes. It's going to be close. (Brandon Weigel)

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Early voting numbers are up, and Baltimore City's citizens are engaged. Or at least that’s what Democratic mayoral candidate Elizabeth Embry and her staff are hoping for.

As of 9:20 p.m., around 10 percent of the city’s precincts were reporting results. And Embry had about 9.9 percent of the vote, in comparison to competing front-runners Sheila Dixon with 34.2 percent and Catherine Pugh with 40.8 percent.

Supporters anxiously began gathering around a screen showing projected results.

“We’ve had a lot of great responses in the last few weeks, but no one really focuses on a campaign until the last two weeks before an election,” said Steve Kaiser, Embry’s public relations coordinator.

“If she wins, we have to start preparing for November’s election,” he said. “If she loses, well she has a job back at the Attorney General’s office.”

Clay Oliver, an Embry supporter and Baltimore City resident of over 15 years, joined friends at the Belvedere in hopes of celebrating with Embry, who he says win or lose, is “a shining star and will do well in the future.”

“She has a wonderful position on what she would do about crime in the city, and she has a great positon on infrastructure and jobs,” Oliver said. “She’s really thought these things through.” (Marissa Horn)

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CNN and FiveThirtyEight are calling the Democratic Senate race for Chris Van Hollen. That was considered to be a tight race, but Van Hollen has opened up commanding leads in Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Montgomery, and Howard counties.

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Early voting is in, and Pugh leads Dixon, 44 percent to 33 percent. Embry is a distant third with 8 percent. (Brandon Weigel)

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Some presidential election news: Even though results have yet to be released, the Associated Press is projecting Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will win their party's primary in Maryland. (Brandon Weigel)

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Welcome to City Paper's Primary Election live blog! We've got reporters covering the campaigns of former Mayor Sheila Dixon, State Sen. Catherine Pugh, Deputy State's Attorney Elizabeth Embry, City Councilman Carl Stokes, and businessman David Warnock, plus the City Council race in the 5th District.

Polls at four locations—Beth Am Synagogue, John Eager Howard Elementary School, Oliver Multipurpose Center and Pimlico Elementary School—will now stay open until 9 p.m. after Judge Althea M. Handy ruled in favor of a motion brought by Senate hopeful Donna Edwards, represented by Billy Murphy. Those four were just some of the precincts that reportedly opened late this morning, but they were the only ones that opened 45 minutes late or longer.

In a surreal scene, the courtroom was evacuated, not long after Judge Handy finished hearing testimony, due to a fire across the street at the Mitchell Courthouse. Attorneys for the city Board of Elections and Edwards' campaign moved to the sidewalk in the rear of the building. Judge Handy began to give her ruling, but when she spotted The Sun's Justin Fenton filming the proceedings, she moved everyone back across the street to the courthouse's garage.

As a result, the state Board of Elections is withholding results, as The Sun's Erin Cox notes.

We'll update this blog throughout the night. But first, here is a dispatch from our reporter covering the Stokes campaign. (Brandon Weigel)

Standing outside Hazelwood Elementary Middle School, mayoral hopeful Carl Stokes greets everyone who walks by.

"I got your vote, right? I need you!" Stokes says.

In the midst of the many campaign teams camped outside of Hazelwood who greet voters with flyers and final pleas to gain another vote for their candidate, Stokes is certain that the city of Baltimore is ready for change, and that he is the candidate to deliver it.

He says the atmosphere on this Election Day has been great. Stokes says he hasn't really heard of anything negative with the polls and people casting their votes today, but does mention his mother had some problems with her polling machine so she had to place her ballot in a box.

Stokes' niece and daughter greet voters and pass out flyers while donning his yellow and blue shirts.

"The day has been good. There's been a lot of interaction with people," says Courtney Brown, Stokes' niece.

She hopes voters have connected with how dedicated Stokes is to the city. "[He's] always working to make the city better, get the city moving."

Stokes says he's gonna do right by the entire population, "not just the rich, but those in communities that lack resources."

That, along with his proclamation to lead a "good and efficient government," is what he believes has connected residents to him to turn out and vote. (Deneia Washington)