State Del. Nick Mosby has won the Democratic primary for City Council president, setting him up for a term as Baltimore’s No. 2 official after the first competitive contest for the position in about a decade.
He emerged from a crowded field that also included City Councilwoman Shannon Sneed and former City Councilman Carl Stokes.
With more than 132,000 ballots counted, Mosby has captured nearly 41% of the vote — ahead of his nearest competitor, Sneed, by nearly 16,000 votes.
Mosby, 41, said Monday that amid the coronavirus pandemic and widespread protests against police brutality and racism, he doesn’t “have the luxury of a victory lap or prolonged celebrations.”
“It’s time to get to work on behalf of the people we are blessed to serve,” he said in a statement to The Baltimore Sun. "Along with being a husband and a father, Baltimore is my passion and the core of my life’s work. I’m blessed to have an opportunity to continue to serve our city and I’m excited to work with the new mayor and my colleagues on the City Council to make real progress for our community.”
Sneed sent a statement Monday to her supporters, congratulating Mosby on his “apparent victory.” Stokes, too, said he has congratulated him on the win.
“While the election was not what we had hoped, I can hold my head high knowing that we ran a positive campaign based on ideas and a vision for Baltimore City,” Sneed said.
Mosby’s lead remained steady over several days of canvassing, as election workers counted and scanned ballots from Maryland’s first attempt at a mostly mail-in statewide election.
Sneed held almost 29% of the vote, while Stokes captured 21%.
Mileah Kromer, director of the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center at Goucher College, said Mosby’s background as both a city councilman and a state lawmaker will be an advantage as council president.
“That experience, I think, is going to be a real benefit for him,” Kromer said. “Understanding how Annapolis works, in terms of what’s possible — what can be done, the speed at which things can happen.”
The council president chairs the Baltimore Board of Estimates and presides over the city’s 15-member legislative body. The president is also first in the line of succession if the mayor dies or resigns. Three of the past four mayors, including Democratic Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, were City Council presidents who ascended to the position when the sitting mayor resigned.
The salary of the City Council president is about $125,000 a year.
Mosby, of West Baltimore, ran for the Democratic nomination for mayor in 2016. He is married to Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby, also a Democrat.
Mosby grew up in the city, graduating from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute before becoming an electrical engineer. He served on the City Council from 2011 to 2016.
As a councilman, his signature legislation barred many employers in the city from asking about a job candidate’s criminal history until a conditional offer was extended. In the House of Delegates, he was the lead sponsor of state legislation that bars the city of Baltimore from seizing homes for overdue water bills.
Quickly after the first coronavirus cases appeared in Maryland, Mosby was vocal about addressing racial disparities in public health. He pressured the state to provide a breakdown of cases by race and ZIP code, with the goal of limiting the disproportionate harm in the black community.
When he ran for mayor, his campaign was hampered in part by some voters’ concern that too much political power would be concentrated in one family. In a 2016 Sun poll, a third of voters said they were less likely to vote for Mosby for mayor because he is married to the state’s attorney.
Mosby says he plans to recuse himself from any items on the Board of Estimates agenda related to the prosecutor’s office.
He is set to face Republican Jovani Patterson in November’s general election. Registered Democrats outnumber Republican voters by nearly 10 to 1 in Baltimore.
Baltimore Sun reporter Alison Knezevich contributed to this article.