xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sheila Dixon concedes Democratic primary for Baltimore mayor, congratulates Brandon Scott

Baltimore Mayoral candidate Shelia Dixon talks with news media from her home. Dixon conceded defeat to Brandon Scott Saturday morning.
Baltimore Mayoral candidate Shelia Dixon talks with news media from her home. Dixon conceded defeat to Brandon Scott Saturday morning. (Kenneth K. Lam/Baltimore Sun)

Former Mayor Sheila Dixon on Saturday formally conceded the race to reclaim her old seat, offering congratulations to the Democratic nominee for Baltimore mayor, Brandon Scott.

Scott, the City Council president, edged out a victory by just over 3,100 votes.

Advertisement

Despite raising concerns about the execution of this election — Maryland’s first attempt at using mostly mail-in voting — Dixon’s campaign will not be pursuing a recount.

“With the current pandemic, protests and a Presidential general election on the horizon, now is not the time for frivolous divisions, but for unity,” Dixon said in a statement.

Advertisement
Advertisement

This was Dixon’s second attempt at a political comeback after being forced from office amid a public corruption scandal. She was defeated in 2016 by then-state Sen. Catherine E. Pugh, by fewer than 2,500 votes.

The former mayor reminded voters throughout the drawn-out 2020 campaign of her reputation as a competent city manager and her success at driving down violent crime.

During Dixon’s tenure from 2007 to 2010, homicides in Baltimore dropped from 282 to 238 a year, and the violent crime rate went down. She was known for making smart hires, and focused on cleaning up the streets.

In 2010, she was found guilty of embezzling gift cards meant for the poor. As part of an plea agreement a perjury charge in the case, she resigned as mayor, was on probation for four years and could not seek office during that time.

Advertisement

She campaigned in bright red T-shirts that read #BringSheilaBack, and she was often greeted by voters with personal of stories of how she helped them during her time as mayor — and in the years since.

“I have watched members of my team grow,” Dixon said. “I have watched citizens across this great city get involved in ways they have never done before. Those are victories I cannot ignore.”

Scott took 29.6% of the vote to Dixon’s 27.5%.

Because the race was so close, some questioned whether Dixon would pursue legal action or a recount. Last week, she said she had many concerns about how the mail-in election was handled.

Maryland mailed out ballots that listed the wrong date for the primary. Then, ballots for Baltimore City voters were delayed and some included a printing error that required manual counting.

During the 2016 primary, state officials decertified Baltimore’s results amid concerns about voting irregularities. That history was on Dixon’s mind this time around, too.

Dixon said she offers her “sincerest congratulations to a young man who is a native of this city, a product of our public schools, a young man I have watched grow in public service.”

In a news conference earlier this week, Dixon said that if she lost this race, she would not run again.

“I’m still going to roll my sleeves up and work in this city,” she said, "no matter what happens.”

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement