|Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake|
The mayor said she believes she could have won re-election, pointing to her work on the city's budget and pension system. However, she said, not seeking re-election was the best decision for the city and for her family. Among other things, she said the city needed to get through the trials of the six police officers charged in Gray's death.
Rawlings-Blake's tenure as the 49th Mayor of America's 26th largest city was a fairly quiet one until the death of Baltimore resident Freddie Gray while he was in the custody of Baltimore City police officers.
Gray's death sparked day's of some of the most violent and damaging unrest the city of Baltimore had experienced in decades. The violence cast Baltimore's leadership into the spotlight. Blake's police department who was already under fire for the death of Gray - was highly critiqued about the way they handled the post unrests.
Stephanie's decision not to seek re-election removes a showdown with her predecessor, former Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon, who is seeking the mayoral seat in 2016.
|Former Baltimore Mayor Shelia Dixon|
Rawlings-Blake was the president of the Baltimore City Council and political heir apparent to the mayoral seat in 2009, when then-Mayor Sheila Dixon was indicted on twelve felony and misdemeanor counts, including perjury, theft, and misconduct. The charges stem partly from incidents in which she allegedly misappropriated gift cards intended for the poor. On December 1, 2009, the jury returned a "guilty" verdict on one misdemeanor count of fraudulent misappropriation and Dixon received probation provided she resign as mayor as part of a plea agreement, effective February 4, 2010.
Rawlings-Blake said she was now focused on working for the city and did not want every decision she made over the next 15 months to be evaluated in the context of a political campaign.
Sheila - your girl just gave you a one-up to getting your old job back - go for it.