The first competitive race for Baltimore comptroller in two decades remains too close to call, though City Councilman Bill Henry is widening his lead over longtime incumbent Joan Pratt.
The state elections board published returns late Saturday night based on the roughly 105,000 votes that have been counted so far. The numbers showed Henry with 53.5% of the vote in the head-to-head race.
The number of Democratic ballots cast is approaching 150,000, according to elections board data. Ballots continue to come in.
As Maryland works through the kinks in its first attempt at a mostly mail-in election, the delay in results has kept candidates and residents in limbo. All three of Baltimore’s citywide positions are heavily contested.
Henry’s lead over Pratt widened Saturday by about another 3,000 votes, based on the latest release of returns. He has 56,390 votes to Pratt’s 49,023.
The contest to be the city’s fiscal watchdog typically isn’t one to watch. Pratt, first elected in 1995, usually sails through without a challenge. She’s now seeking her seventh term in office.
But Henry, who has represented North Baltimore since 2007, has put up a tough fight during this drawn-out campaign. He’s urged voters to cast their ballots in favor of change, along with greater transparency and accountability.
Mileah Kromer, director of the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center at Goucher College, said Henry is “putting some distance” between him and Pratt.