Primary Matters: The Great Baltimore Snoozer of 2011
Tomorrow, a small percentage of the resident of the City of Baltimore will go to the polls in order to vote in the city’s Democratic Primary. Unfortunately for the sake of the Republican Party, the good of the city, and responsible government, the Democratic primaries tomorrow will get to decide who runs the city of Baltimore over the next four years.
Unlike the hotly contested primaries of 2007, this has been damn near an invisible election season in Baltimore. Despite her shortcomings, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake seems to be cruising to re-election over State Senator Catherine Pugh, Jody Landers, and Otis Rolley. The City Council President’s race between Jack Young and former Senator Theater owner Tom Kiefaber is even more of a snooze fest, no matter how much WBAL-TV tried to sex it up today with talk of Young’s shortcomings.
And that is frankly part of the problem. In 2007 we had two hotly contested one-on-one primaries. For Mayor, incumbent Sheila Dixon defeated City Councilman Kieffer Mitchell in a hot race that saw Dixon retain the mayoralty she inherited from Martin O’Malley. Stephanie Rawlings-Blake retained the City Council Presidency she inherited upon the ascension of Dixon over a tough field of Michael Sarbanes. In both races, we saw vibrant campaigns and at least something resembling a comparing and contrasting of ideas.
This year…..it’s the reign of the incumbents, so far. You may remember may Baltimore Sun editorial from June discussing the potential that the voting block of new young voters could really change the dynamic in the city. Well sadly we have see no evidence of that, at least not in the citywide races. One could assume that there is a possible undercurrent that is not being identified by the media, but even in the Ferguson-Della race last year it was visible early that Ferguson was a hard-charging candidate who would do better than a lot of folks thought.
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We are fortunate that we do have a number of Republican candidates running in Baltimore; even a few outside chances to possibly win a City Council seat for the first time since 1939. But realistically, the Democratic candidates who win tomorrow will sweep into office for the next term. Sadly, this is not going to solve Baltimore City’s ills. None of the candidates running for office seem to be of the type will be steadfast enough to resists the Democratic machine that has run the city of Baltimore for so very long. After tomorrow, nothing really changes.
Lack of good candidates. Lack of qualified replacements. Lack of interest. It all leads to a lack of hope for Baltimore. Our city deserves so much better….