As the returns of Maryland’s first attempt at a mostly mail-in election were nearly all counted — more than a week after the primary — winners emerged in races for Baltimore City Council’s 14 districts and other candidates conceded their losses.
With five open seats, more than a third of the City Council will turn over. Three incumbents ran for higher office (one successfully) and two others will retire in December when their four-year terms end.
Vote counting was winding down Friday afternoon. Here’s a district-by-district look at how each Council race played out in the June 2 primary:
After a printing error on many 1st District ballots caused officials to remove all the returns from the state website on primary day, and then spend days copying many of the district’s ballots onto properly printed forms, first-term incumbent Councilman Zeke Cohen is headed for reelection after receiving nearly two-thirds of the votes over Paris Bienert. No Republicans sought to challenge Cohen in the November general election.
“The win is not about me, but about us,” Cohen said. “It’s about what happens when people come together across lines of difference, and community truly comes first. During what has been a difficult time for Baltimore, we’ve built unlikely coalitions, passed meaningful legislation and elevated voices that have too long been ignored.”
City Councilwoman Danielle McCray received 59% of the votes in Northeast Baltimore’s 2nd District race, and declared victory over two challengers for the Democratic nomination.
“I was honored and grateful to have been nominated by members of my community, and confirmed unanimously by the Baltimore City Council exactly one year ago today, and now provided the opportunity to continue to serve by the voters of the 2nd Councilmanic District,” McCray wrote in a statement Thursday.
McCray was appointed to the council last spring, when then-Councilman Brandon Scott was elevated to Council president following the resignation of Democratic Mayor Catherine Pugh.
Brendon Joyner-El was unopposed in the GOP primary. Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 10-1 margin in Baltimore, so the winner of the Democratic primary usually wins the general election.
Councilman Ryan Dorsey declared victory in the Democratic primary, with 58% of the vote over top challenger Rain Pryor’s 36%.
Dorsey is chair of the council’s transportation committee and sought a second term representing the Northeast Baltimore district.
“[T]hanks for re-electing me,” he tweeted the morning after the primary. “I’m ready to keep working."
“I am very proud of the campaign I ran,” Pryor said in a text message. “It was one with integrity and real purpose to heal our community and the city. The work continues no matter what for me."
David Marshall Wright was unopposed for the Republican nomination.
Mark Conway, who runs a nonprofit organization focused on creating a greener Baltimore, declared victory in the 4th District Democratic primary.
Conway had 28% of the vote among 10 candidates vying for the nomination. His closest competitor, Logan Endow, received 26% and trailed Conway by 235 votes by Friday.
“I look forward to serving," Conway said. "There’s a lot of work to do.”
The race for the North Baltimore seat being vacated by Councilman Bill Henry, who defeated incumbent Joan Pratt in the city comptroller’s race, drew the largest field of any council race.
Councilman Isaac “Yitzy” Schleifer was headed for the Democratic nomination to a second term representing District 5 in Northwest Baltimore, with 63% of the votes to challenger Chris Ervin’s 37%.
The race was a rematch of the 2016 contest, with one fewer candidate.
Maria Vismale was unopposed for the Republican nomination.
Council Vice President Sharon Green Middleton, who has held the 6th District seat in Northwest Baltimore since 2007, was poised to defeat her two challengers with 64% of the vote.
GOP candidate Michelle Andrews was unopposed for her party’s nomination.
With Councilman Leon Pinkett running for Council president, five Democratic candidates sought the nomination to represent the 7th District in West Baltimore.
Front-runner James Torrence led the field with 36% of the votes, followed by Tori Rose (24%) and Brian Sims (23%).
GOP candidate Christopher Anderson was unopposed for his party’s nomination.
Councilman Kristerfer Burnett won nearly 63% of the vote in West Baltimore’s District 8.
He faced one challenger for the Democratic nomination, Anthony Greene, an internship coordinator in the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development.
In Southwest Baltimore’s 9th District, well-funded Councilman John Bullock had two-thirds of the vote for the Democratic nomination over three cashless opponents.
“We’re looking forward to another four years," he said.
Phylicia Porter declared victory with 32% of the vote among the nine Democrats running for the seat being vacated by retiring Councilman Ed Reisinger in South Baltimore.
She had a 779-vote lead Friday over Keisha Allen, her closest competitor, who received 17% of the vote.
The 10th District saw the only competitive GOP primary in the city. Michael Nolet had 89% of the votes to Mekkah X. Mohammed’s 11%.
In the only uncontested district, Democrat Eric Costello did not face any challengers for reelection to the seat representing downtown and South Baltimore.
Councilman Robert Stokes Sr., who narrowly won his first term serving East Baltimore’s 12th District in 2016, defeated top challenger Phillip Westry.
Stokes, who was considered the council’s most vulnerable freshman, received 41% of the vote to Westry’s 37%.
“I’m happy to continue to serve the constituents of the 12th District,” he texted.
Eugene Boikai had no opposition for the Republican nomination.
An open primary to replace first-term Councilwoman Shannon Sneed, who ran unsuccessfully for City Council president, invited a field of seven Democrats.
Front-runner Antonio Glover had 36% of the votes with a 706-vote lead over Jackie Addison, who had 27%.
Neither Glover nor Addison could be reached for comment.
Odette Ramos, who received retiring longtime councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke’s endorsement in the open North Baltimore District 14 race to succeed her, is poised to become the city’s first Hispanic elected official.
Ramos had 65% of the vote in the primary.
“I’m ready to get to work,” Ramos said in a statement. “This summer, we will continue our District 14 tele-townhall series, informational emails, social media, contact in the district, and resolve constituent issues."
Joseph Kane II, who was in second place with 15% of the vote, conceded to Ramos.
Charles Long was unopposed for the GOP nomination.
Baltimore Sun reporters Alison Knezevich and Emily Opilo contributed to this article.