Despite Inordinate Coverage, Dixon Not Actually Running for Mayor

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In the background of Baltimore’s mayoral campaign looms resigned former mayor Sheila Dixon, well, at least in the coverage of the race, if not so much in actuality. She has donated moderate sums to at least two of Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s challengers, and, according to local news outlets, she has also offered certain candidates “advice.” What her involvement in the race really amounts to is anyone’s guess.

The number of headlines given to Dixon during the Democratic primary strikes me as so ordinate, that I wouldn’t be surprised if a minority of voters believes she is actually running. Her picture seems to appear on local news sites more often than any of the candidates’. Will she run in 2015? Who is she backing? What did she say about Rawlings-Blake? Have Baltimoreans forgiven her?

I could see why it’s appealing to spend one’s political coverage on Dixon. She has that scandal, and scandals are useful when you are looking to form an opinion on a politician. Depending upon your point-of-view, her gift-card theft was either an inexcusable abuse of power, or an overpunished ethical gaffe. Either way, you think something. The top candidates on the other hand, Rawlings-Blake, Pugh, Rolley, Landers: to form opinions on them you’d really have to bone up on where they stand on the issues. Sounds like homework.

Or maybe it’s that Rawlings-Blake leads by a boringly huge margin in the polls. Or maybe the prospect of choosing the next leader of a city that has been struggling for so long to turn things around with limited success is just too stressful and we’d rather not think about it.

Or maybe I just have amnesia, and it’s really 2015, and it’s Dixon versus Rawlings-Blake.



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