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With four months to go until Baltimore’s primary, mayoral candidate and City Council President Brandon Scott is proposing nine debates and forums. In 2016, the six candidates and audience applaud just before the start of a Democratic mayoral debate at the University of Baltimore.
With four months to go until Baltimore’s primary, mayoral candidate and City Council President Brandon Scott is proposing nine debates and forums. In 2016, the six candidates and audience applaud just before the start of a Democratic mayoral debate at the University of Baltimore. (Amy Davis, Baltimore Sun)

With four months to go until Baltimore’s primary, mayoral candidate and City Council President Brandon Scott is asking Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young to participate in nine debates and forums.

Young and Scott are among the best-known candidates in the crowded April 28 Democratic primary. They’re going up against former Mayor Sheila Dixon, former state Deputy Attorney General Thiru Vignarajah, former Baltimore Police Department spokesman T.J. Smith, state Sen. Mary Washington and others.

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“Our campaign has started to receive a large number of invitations and I want to ensure Baltimore residents have a range of opportunities to learn about the issues and hear directly from us,” Scott wrote in a letter to Young.

Scott wants a debate or forum hosted by each of the five major television stations: WBAL, WBFF, WMAR, WJZ and Maryland Public Television. He’s also seeking forums on radio stations WYPR-FM, WEAA-FM and WOLB-AM, as well as a debate run by The Baltimore Sun. In previous election cycles, many of these outlets have partnered to host debates.

Scott asked Young to “please let me know if you are willing to agree to the schedule of forums and debates above, pending availability.”

Young’s campaign spokesman Myles Handy said that “as the leader of the city, Mayor Young is working around the clock to address the challenges we face.” While Young doesn’t yet know how many debates he will participate in, Handy said, "We look forward to a robust dialogue and sharing his vision of reducing crime, cleaning up the city and supporting our youth.”

Scott’s campaign manager, Marvin James, said Scott sent the letter to Young specifically because while other candidates have appeared eager to debate, “the mayor has been reluctant to show himself at town halls, forums or debates.”

Handy disputed that: “We eagerly await the many opportunities we’ll have to display Mayor Young is the most ready and qualified for the job.”

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