Clockwise from upper left: Baltimore mayoral and city council candidates Shannon Wright, Nick Mosby, Jovani Patterson, Brandon Scott. Republicans Wright and Patterson are trying to break the virtual Democratic monopoly hold on local government (Courtesy photos)

By Devin Walker
Special to the AFRO

Baltimore has an approximate population of 622,000 residents, and 62.8% of those residents are African American. The city has been primarily Democratic Party-led for over 53 years. The last Republican mayor of Baltimore was Theodore McKeldin in 1967. 

Corruption is the cornerstone issue of change, say Republican Party office seekers. Brandon Scott won the 2020 Democratic primary for Baltimore mayor. However, he has 10 years in City Hall and was a member of the past three administrations two of which ended in corruption and scandal. In November 2009, Sheila Dixon was convicted of embezzlement. In November 2019, Catherine Pugh pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to defraud the US Government and two counts of tax evasion. Brandon Scott was not accused of any wrongdoing in either case. 

On Oct. 24 former Mayor Dixon endorses Scott’s campaign.

Shannon Wright, Scott’s Republican opponent, has no ties to City Hall. Contacted via Social Media, Wright released this statement, “Fifty-three years of Democrats’ rule has led to corruption in Baltimore City. It’s time to break the habit.”

Pastor Shannon Wright is a New York native. She is the former vice president of the Yonkers NAACP. Wright also served on the New Jersey NAACP state board of directors. Wright moved to Baltimore in 2013. In 2016 she ran unsuccessfully for City Council President.   

Roger Hartley, dean of the University of Baltimore’s College of Public Affairs, said Wright’s long-shot campaign has value, even if her odds of being elected mayor are small. “Shannon Wright is giving people a choice,” Hartley said. When one party is dominant, “what we get in cities or rural areas is an echo-chamber effect, where some political issues don’t get vetted.”

Maryland Delegate Nick Mosby won the 2020 Democratic primary for Baltimore City Council President. However, on Oct.14, the IRS put a $45,000 lien on his home for unpaid taxes. 

Mosby’s Republican opponent, Jovani Patterson, is calling for him to withdraw from the race. Patterson, a cybersecurity engineer who has never run for office argues that Baltimore has been plagued with Democratic Party corruption over the past 50 years and that Mosby’s failure to pay his own taxes highlights more of the same corruption. 

Recording Artist Marcell Russell interviewed Patterson on Oct. 18. Patterson expressed plans to change laws regarding families within Baltimore. He argued that fatherlessness is the common cause for crime throughout Baltimore. 

Nick Mosby said his crime reduction plan is “deploying and investing in evidence-based violence reduction strategies similar to the Strategic Support Decision Centers in Chicago, Utilizing CitiStat and Warrant Apprehension initiatives to create data driven methods that target Baltimore’s violent repeat offenders, and Investing in harm reduction solutions like Safe Streets. Mosby was first elected to service on the Baltimore City Council in December 2011. 

In 2016, Mosby passed legislation to, “Ban The Box” preventing employers from questioning the criminal record of perspective employees.

The writer is a student in the Morgan State University School of Global Journalism and Communication.