Reports: Young is jumping in the mayor’s race

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Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young is running to keep the city’s top job, according to multiple reports, pitting Baltimore’s top two officials against each other in the April 2020 primary election.

The Baltimore Brew reported this morning that Young would be making a formal announcement on Saturday. In an interview with The Sun‘s Luke Broadwater this afternoon, Young made it official–after previously saying he wouldn’t seek the office.

Young told the paper he wanted to continue the work he’s done since being appointed to the mayor’s office in the wake of Catherine Pugh’s “Healthy Holly” self-dealing scandal. He first served as ex officio mayor when Pugh took a leave of absence on April 1, and then on a permanent basis after she resigned a month later.

While acknowledging there have been struggles, including a ransomware attack that crippled municipal networks, Young said: “I’ve had a strong team that is very wise and capable. I decided I want to run because there’s a lot of things I want to accomplish.”

If voters give him an elected term as mayor, Young said he would like to build a new courthouse–in recent days he has said the current one should be renamed for the late Rep. Elijah Cummings–address equity in Baltimore and implement a new training program for city workers, among other initiatives.

Pointing to a fundraising blitz earlier this month that netted $250,000 in seven days, Young said the local “business community can see we are on the cusp of a renaissance in Baltimore.”

Prior to taking over the city’s top job, Young served on the council from 1996 to 2010, after which he was elected council president.

The mayor joins Brandon Scott, who was elevated to Young’s old post after Pugh’s scandal, among the election front-runners. As of today, four Republicans and nine Democrats have formally filed to run for mayor. Young and Scott are not yet among the latter. Thiru Vignarajah has also announced a candidacy.

The filing deadline is Tuesday, Jan. 24, and the primary election is set for April 28.

Brandon Weigel

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