Baltimore Mayor opens Democratic National Convention. (WJZ video)
PHILADELPHIA — Baltimore Mayor Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake gaveled in the Democratic National Convention here on Monday -- taking over for the Democratic Party chairwoman who relinquished the role amid a scandal over internal party emails.
Rawlings-Blake introduced herself to the crowd as "mayor of the great city of Baltimore" and called it an "honor and a pleasure" to kick off the convention.
After calling the convention to order, Rawlings-Blake started walking off stage -- only to realize she hadn't actually struck the podium with a gavel. She hurried back and did so to applause.
Rawlings-Blake has served as the secretary of the national Democratic Party since 2013.
Party chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Florida congresswoman who had already announced she would resign from the party after the convention, said Monday that she also would not preside over the convention's opening ceremonies.
The email controversy, in which the website WikiLeaks has published thousands of internal emails, has threatened the unified message Democrats are hoping to portray as they nominate Hillary Clinton.
Rawlings-Blake is "honored to participate in the historic Democratic National Convention as the party prepares to confirm its 2016 presidential nominee, Hillary Rodham Clinton," a statement released Monday by City Hall read.