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In Baltimore comptroller’s primary, Councilman Henry widens lead in attempt to unseat longtime incumbent Pratt

L-R Baltimore Comptroller Joan Pratt and City Councilman Bill Henry
L-R Baltimore Comptroller Joan Pratt and City Councilman Bill Henry (staff)

City Councilman Bill Henry further widened his margin over incumbent Joan Pratt in the Democratic primary for Baltimore comptroller, building a significant lead based on the latest primary returns.

As of Sunday night, when the state posted the returns available so far, Henry had 54% to Pratt’s 46%. Nearly 10,000 votes separated the two.

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The primary is the first competitive one for the city’s fiscal watchdog post in two decades. Pratt, first elected in 1995, is seeking her seventh term and has often been unchallenged in her bids for re-election.

Henry, who has represented North Baltimore on the Council since 2007, ran a campaign encouraging change, promising more transparency and accountability.

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Returns in the primary and other citywide contests have been slow to be released as counting continues in the state’s first election held mostly by mail. Election officials counted another 22,863 ballots Sunday, and at least 18,500 remain to be counted. More could arrive via mail, although the likelihood they were postmarked by the June 2 deadline has dwindled.

The Democratic contest for controller was predicted to be competitive. This year has been one of scrutiny for Pratt, who had to defend her business ties to former Democratic Mayor Catherine Pugh, who resigned from office before pleading guilty to federal conspiracy and tax evasion charges.

A May poll found Pratt favored by 41% of the likely Democratic primary voters, while Henry had the support of 34% of respondents. There is no Republican candidate running.

The comptroller’s office is charged with conducting audits, managing city real estate, and operating the municipal telephone and mail delivery systems. The job also comes with a seat on the five-member Board of Estimates, which oversees all city spending above $25,000.


Baltimore Democratic primary

These are the returns so far after elections officials counted all day Sunday. Officials said they still had roughly 18,500 ballots on hand to count from both parties, the vast majority from Democrats. More ballots could still arrive by mail.

Mayor

Brandon Scott; 28.7%; 39,043

Sheila Dixon; 28.4%; 38,655

Mary Miller; 15.5%; 21,002

City Council president

Nick Mosby; 40.7%; 51,493

Shannon Sneed; 28.6%; 36,111

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Carl Stokes; 21.6%; 27,307

Comptroller

Bill Henry; 53.9%; 67,038

Joan Pratt; 46.1%; 57,282

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