Maryland State Senator Catherine Pugh

When Maryland State Senator Catherine Pugh and Baltimore City Councilman Carl Stokes entered the mayoral race on September 8, they entered an already crowded field. The two made their announcements in The Baltimore Sun.

This is 65-year-old Pugh’s second run at the mayor’s office. In 2011, she lost to Stephanie Rawlings-Blake in the Democratic primary. She currently represents the 40th legislative district and serves as the senate majority leader.

The Pennsylvania native told The Sun that as mayor, she would unify all of Baltimore’s diverse parts.


Baltimore City Councilman Carl Stokes

This is also 65-year-old Stokes’ second time running for mayor. In 1999, he lost to Martin O’Malley. He has already set up his campaign website at

“The problems we face – too few jobs, too much crime, high taxes, and far too many under performing schools – are old problems that we have been dealing with in old ways without success,” Stokes said in a message posted to his campaign website on Sept. 7.

Stokes represents the twelfth district. He serves as chair of the city council’s Taxation, Finance and Economic Development committee. He is also the vice-chair of the Education and Executive Appointments committees.

Both lawmakers were highly visible during the April unrest that followed the death of Baltimore man Freddie Gray in police custody. Stokes made headlines when he appeared on CNN and argued that calling protesters thugs is similar to calling them “niggers.”

We don’t have to call them by names such as that,” Stokes told CNN. We don’t have to do that.”

Cameras caught Pugh as she squared off against Fox News reporter Geraldo Rivera. “We need police to respect our neighborhood,” she told Rivera as the two stood in the middle of a large crowd of protestors. “We need police to respect our neighborhoods. Black lives matter.”

Some of the other candidates in the mayoral race include:

Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (


Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake

The mayor has been taking a beating in the court of public opinion since the April unrest that followed Freddie Gray’s death. Residents are worried about the city’s climbing murder rate. As of Sept. 9 there had been a total of 229 homicides in Baltimore this year. In 2014 there were a total of 211.

Some accused the mayor of telling police to stand down as city stores were looted during the unrest. She also took heat for the curfew that was put in place as police and lawmakers tried to calm the city.

However, Rawlings-Blake is not without her successes. She is the secretary of the Democratic National Committee and also the president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors – she is the first African American, the first woman and the first Baltimore mayor to hold this position.

She is expected to open her campaign headquarters in Remington later this month.

Sheila Dixon (


Former Mayor Sheila Dixon

Dixon was the first candidate to announce she was running against Rawlings-Blake. She is set to hold an ice cream social-themed campaign event at the B&O Railroad Museum on September 13.

On her campaign site, she boasts about the gun offender registry, the single stream recycling program, and the popular Downtown Circulator as accomplishments of her time as mayor. There is no mention of the scandal over the alleged misappropriation of gift cards that lead to her resignation in 2010.

Before announcing her candidacy, Dixon did an interview with The AFRO where she said that a lot of the city’s most deep-rooted problems have not gotten the attention they deserve.

“Dealing with systemic issues, for elected officials, is not something they focus on because it’s long-term,” Dixon said.

Richard Black (

Accountant Richard Black announced his candidacy on August 24. On his campaign site, he promises to bring to the office “a strong desire to diagnose issues and provide cost-effective and practical solutions.”

He says he would like to lower the Mayor’s salary to the average salary in Baltimore. He also says that he thinks the mayor should lower the murder rate or not get paid.

Black has a lot of work to do to establish himself as household name– just 43 people have liked his campaign’s Facebook page.

Mack Clifton (


Mack Clifton

Clifton is a New Jersey native who moved to Baltimore in 2005. He says he is a minister and author and counts Queen Elizabeth II, actor Benedict Cumberbatch among his distant relatives.

“We should not live in fear of whether or not we can care for our families, whether or not our children will be harassed by uncouth police officers, whether or not we will be victims of violent crime,” he writes on his website.

He has not held any elected office, but currently is a member of the 231st Transportation Battalion, a veteran’s organization.

Mike Maraziti (no campaign website)

Baltimorians who frequent Fells Point might know Mike Maraziti as the owner of One-Eyed Mike’s bar in Fells Point. He is also the president of the Fells Point Main Street business association.

He told the Baltimore Business Journal that he’s most interested in property taxes, crime, schools and government accountability.

Calvin Allen Young III (


Calvin Allen Young III

Young is an engineer and graduate of Harvard Business School. At 25, he’s the youngest mayoral candidate. Young has not yet held any political office. At 17, served as a member of the Baltimore City youth commission.

“After graduating from Harvard, Calvin decided the best way to use his education and experience would be to give back to Baltimore and to help others achieve their dreams,” the site reads.

The primary election is April 26, 2016.