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What's at stake in the elections in Baltimore, Baltimore County and beyond

As voters cast their ballots in the Baltimore area on Tuesday, they’ll weigh in on two key races: Baltimore City state’s attorney and Baltimore County executive.

In the city, the Democratic primary for the city’s top prosecutor effectively decides the election because there are no Republicans filed to challenge the winner in November.

But in Baltimore County, the Democratic and Republican winners today will give voters a reason to show up for the General Election. This is also the first time ever that Baltimore County voters will get to elect school board members.

The Baltimore Sun’s voters guide gives you all the details on all the major candidates across the region: Baltimore city and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties. Plus, all the state and federal races.

As many as 80,000 voters will have to cast provisional ballots because of a computer glitch.

Baltimore City state’s attorney

The incumbent state’s attorney, Marilyn Mosby, is the candidate to beat. And two other Democrats are trying to unseat the first-term prosecutor: defense attorney Ivan Bates and former Maryland deputy attorney general Thiru Vignarajah.

Mosby, 38, has sometimes been a polarizing figure in Baltimore since winning election four years ago.

She earned both criticism and praise for pursuing criminal charges against six police officers who were involved in the 2013 death of Freddie Gray.

Since Gray’s death, the city has experienced record levels of violent crime. As the city’s top prosecutor, Mosby has been blamed by her rivals for the spike.

The candidates have battled over who has the best prosecution records.

Mosby and Vignarajah have both claimed that Bates has overstated his successes when he was an assistant state’s attorney between 1996 and 2002. Bates, 49, is a former prosecutor and Army veteran who now is a senior partner in the Bates & Garcia law firm.

Mosby, too, has been criticized for how she portrays her record. She’s claimed a conviction rate of 92 percent, but has dropped charges in more than one-third of her cases.

Vignarajah, 41, now works in private practice but previously was a deputy attorney general for Maryland and an assistant state’s attorney.

Baltimore County executive

The county executive is the top elected official in Maryland’s third-largest county, overseeing a budget of more than $3 billion. The job is open, with contested primaries for both Democrats and Republicans.

Three leading Democrats are vying for their party’s nomination: County Councilwoman Vicki Almond of Reisterstown, state Sen. Jim Brochin of Cockeysville and former Del. Johnny Olszewski Jr. of Dundalk.

There are two candidates on the Republican side: Del. Pat McDonough and insurance commissioner Al Redmer Jr., both from Middle River.

The Republican candidates

Redmer has promoted his experience both inside and outside of government, saying he has the most “executive experience” of any candidate in the race. Redmer also touts his endorsement from Gov. Larry Hogan.

McDonough has described himself as a populist who vows to prohibit expanding affordable housing and mandating English as the county’s official language.

Redmer, 62, and McDonough, 74, have leveled accusations against one another in the campaign.

The Democratic candidates

Almond has said her two terms on the County Council position her well to recognize the county’s shortcomings and develop solutions. Almond, 69, touts her rise from PTA mom and community leader to elected official.

Brochin, a state senator since 2003, has centered much of his campaign around promises to end overdevelopment, protect open space and limit the influence of developers. Brochin, 54, has criticized Almond as a developer-friendly candidate. Almond has criticized Brochin for some of his past votes on gun control bills.

Olszewski, meanwhile, has promoted himself as the most progressive candidate in the race, touting ideas such as universal prekindergarten and free community college. Olszewski, 35, has largely stayed out of the back-and-forth between Almond and Brochin.

pwood@baltsun.com

twitter.com/pwoodreporter

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