Sen. Mary Washington suspends campaign for mayor

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State Sen. Mary Washington, who represents the 43rd District, has suspended her campaign for mayor, saying she wants to devote time to her constituents during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The extraordinary events of the past several weeks have drastically changed our way of life in Baltimore and across the nation. During this unprecedented time, I am deeply committed, first and foremost, to standing by the people of the 43rd District as their State Senator,” Washington said in a statement. “This campaign was about leading with integrity, offering real solutions to the challenges facing Baltimore, and demonstrating strength in the face of adversity. These are the values that will lead and unify our city through the difficult times that lie ahead.”

Sen. Washington, who served in the House of Delegates for eight years before being elected to the upper chamber, said today she plans to develop a resource response team in her district to provide updated information about the pandemic and resources for people who may not be able to leave their homes.

One of the most progressive candidates in the field, Washington championed an agenda of equitable policing, investing $20 million more into schools, and taking on projects to build more affordable housing, enhance the arts community and improve public transportation.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Maryland General Assembly’s legislative session is set to adjourn on March 18, nearly three weeks before the originally scheduled April 6 ending, known as Sine Die. It’s the first time the session has ended early since the Civil War.

Lawmakers plan to return to the capital in May for a special session to continue passing legislation. Among the top priorities before adjourning on Wednesday is passing a budget for the 2021 fiscal year.

Washington’s decision to suspend her mayoral campaign could provide some clarity in a race where polling has left many people scratching their heads.

In two polls conducted by Gonzales Research & Media Services for Fox 45, Washington had been as far down as 7 percent and as high 15 percent.

The latter figure placed Washington within two points of the favorite, former Mayor Sheila Dixon.

A Baltimore Sun/WYPR survey earlier this month had Washington at the back of the back among the top contenders, with only 5 percent support.

The Fox 45 polls both had a margin of error of 6 percent, and the Sun/WYPR one had a margin of error of 4.9 percent, meaning that many candidates were in contention.

A spokesperson for Washington’s campaign said the state senator did not have any plans at this time to endorse another candidate in the race.

Brandon Weigel

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