Baltimore City Council President Brandon M. Scott (D) made it official Friday: He’s running for mayor.
Scott made the announcement in the Park Heights neighborhood, where he grew up.
“Baltimore needs a mayor who understands all of Baltimore and does not cater to special interests but who is willing to invest in communities with the highest need and into initiatives that save our youth,” Scott said in a statement. “We need a mayor who will treat gun violence as a disease and throw the full force of government, not just the police, into addressing this epidemic.”
Scott accompanied his announcement with a 3 ½-minute autobiographical video, which he launched Thursday evening. The video makes it clear that he plans to emphasize his youth – he’s 35 – and urge voters in next April’s Democratic primary to empower a new generation of leaders in the city.
Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young (D), who ascended to the top job in May following the resignation of his scandal-plagued predecessor, Catherine E. Pugh (D), has not said yet whether he plans to seek a full term as mayor or run for his old job, City Council president, which he held for nine years.
Scott, who was elected to the City Council in 2011, was unanimously selected to become City Council president earlier in the summer.
Since then, he has been visiting every corner of the city and has issued a series of policy proposals. Earlier this week, he released a check list so voters could evaluate how he’s doing working on his priorities.
Scott has been a high-profile member of the Council for years, thanks to being chairman of the Public Safety Committee. He elevated his profile further by running for lieutenant governor last year on a ticket headed by attorney James L. Shea.
Scott is a leader of a younger generation of politicians who have been making their mark on city politics in recent years – a group that includes fellow Councilmembers Kristofer Burnett, John Bullock and Shannon Sneed, and state Sens. Cory V. McCray and Antonio L. Hayes, among others. Sneed is widely expected to run for City Council president in 2020, with Scott’s blessing.
A handful of candidates have already declared for mayor, including Thiru Vignarajah, a former deputy state attorney general who ran unsuccessful for Baltimore City state’s attorney last year. Also pondering the race: former mayor Sheila Dixon, state Sen. Mary L. Washington, state Del. Nick J. Mosby and former Baltimore Police Department spokesman T.J. Smith.
Last week, Maryland Matters obtained a copy of a poll conducted for Scott’s campaign that showed him running competitively with Young and other potential mayoral contenders.