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Baltimore mayoral candidate Mary Miller launches major TV ad buy, focuses on accountability

Baltimore mayoral candidate and former T. Rowe Price executive Mary Miller is launching two television ads, part of the campaign's $500,000 media buy.
Baltimore mayoral candidate and former T. Rowe Price executive Mary Miller is launching two television ads, part of the campaign's $500,000 media buy.(Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun)

Baltimore mayoral candidate and former U.S. Treasury official Mary Miller launched a major TV ad campaign Monday that focuses on her record of helping children in the city and pledges accountability in the fight against crime.

The ads are part of a more than $500,000 media buy, her campaign said, and are a show of financial strength for Miller, who jumped into a crowded Democratic field late and with little name recognition.

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Miller’s pitch to voters is that she has the management experience and financial expertise to help turn around a city struggling with crime and poverty. Before her work in the Obama administration, she was an executive at T. Rowe Price.

The first of two ads — which will air on broadcast and cable over the next month — zeroes in on public safety, with Miller pointing out that the police department is short hundreds of officers and is working with outdated technology.

“We don’t need more plans to fight crime. We need somebody to be accountable — and I will,” Miller says in the ad. “As mayor, I’ll give Commissioner Harrison the resources and support to succeed with his plan, because everyone in Baltimore has a right to be safe.”

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Within Miller’s public safety plan, she states that many other candidates have published “competing crime plans,” including recommendations that overlap with the actions being carried out by Police Commissioner Michael Harrison.

After cycling through five police commissioners since 2015, Miller says she believes Harrison has a proven track record and “deserves a chance to do his job."

In the second ad, Baltimore mother Teresa Andrews recalls how Miller helped her son graduate from St. Ignatius Loyola Academy, a private middle school that provides scholarships for its students, who mostly come from poor families. Andrews says Miller has spent three decades serving Baltimore, including by supporting its schools and teachers.

“Mary gets it,” Andrews says in the ad. “She knows wherever you live in Baltimore, you deserve a quality education with a path to success.”

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Miller’s campaign intends to air television ads through the April 28 primary, and the media buy will also include digital advertising. Because she entered the race so close to the deadline, Miller did not have to file a fundraising report last month. The next campaign finance filings are due in March.

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But, the price tag of this ad buy signals she’ll likely be near the front of the pack financially — though the source of the money, including if Miller is self-financing, is unclear without a campaign finance report. . Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young had nearly $960,000 cash on hand, according to his Jan. 15 filing, while former Deputy Maryland Attorney General Thiru Vignarajah reported having about $840,000 on hand after raising more than $1 million.

Vignarajah has also started airing commercials and placing prominent billboards around Baltimore.

Other candidates running in the primary include City Council President Brandon Scott, former Mayor Sheila Dixon, former Baltimore Police Department spokesman T.J. Smith and state Sen. Mary Washington.

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