Unfortunately for Baltimore, the Politics There Never Changes

Yesterday, the city of Baltimore, Maryland held its primary elections, including the Democratic mayoral primary race. Since Baltimore is owned and operated by the Democratic Party, the primary is essentially the general election. Mayor Brandon Scott was in a very tight race against Sheila Dixon, who we have discussed here frequently. She has direct job experience, having served as mayor herself. She also has direct experience in being tossed out of office and being convicted of official corruption. And yet she was amazingly close in the primary polling. The race was finally called at 11 pm and Scott was declared the winner. But there were still thousands of mail-in ballots to be counted so Dixon refused to concede. (Baltimore Banner)

Mayor Brandon Scott is on track for a second term, besting challenger Sheila Dixon in Baltimore’s Democratic mayoral primary.

Scott had a several thousand vote lead over Dixon as results came in Tuesday evening, with more than 70% of precincts reporting, plus results from early voting and a first round of mail-in ballots. The Associated Press called the race for Scott around 11:30 p.m.

“Tonight, you made it very clear that your democracy was not for sale,” said Scott, a first-term mayor who narrowly defeated Dixon in 2020. “I am blessed to have another term to serve as your mayor.”

Brandon Scott is arguably the least corrupt mayor that Baltimore has had out of the last four. He really hasn’t gotten himself into very much trouble beyond some campaign finance shenanigans. He can at least boast that he finished a full term without being arrested, which isn’t bad by Baltimore standards these days, apparently.

The real question we should be addressing here is how that election wound up being so close. Sheila Dixon’s past wasn’t ancient history or any sort of secret. Everyone with a pulse and access to a newspaper knows what happened during her mayoral term and the circumstances surrounding her departure. She wasn’t the subject of rumors and allegations. She was convicted and sentenced to probation, though she was eligible for jail time. She stole gift cards intended to help the homeless.

And yet somehow nearly half of the Baltimore residents who showed up to vote yesterday voted for her. The kind of scandal she was involved in should have been a career killer for any politician anywhere else in the country. I find it difficult to imagine how she could even show her face in public, to say nothing of file to run for office again. And yet, here we are.

Baltimore is a city with a lot of problems as everyone knows. People have been moving away in large numbers. The public school system is rated as one of the poorest in the nation. Gang violence is rampant. Political corruption is commonplace. Why don’t things ever seem to improve significantly? Yesterday probably provided the answer to that question. Things don’t change when you keep electing the same people over and over again, somehow expecting different results. We probably also know the reason why Dixon ran again. She apparently knows her city far better than I do and she figured she could get away with it.

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