By Sean Yoes, AFRO Baltimore Editor, [email protected]
Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby withstood the aggressive charge of two opponents in a highly contentious battle to win re-election by more than 20 points over her nearest rival.
With nearly all precincts reporting (287 of 296 at press time), Mosby cruised to victory registering 49.2 % of the vote, to 28 % for defense attorney Ivan Bates and 22.8% for Thiru Vignarajah, former deputy attorney general of Maryland.
Moments after delivering her victory speech just after midnight in front of a raucous capacity crowd at Melba’s nightclub in East Baltimore, Mosby hit some of the same notes she hit on the campaign trail in reference to the city’s priorities, fiscal and otherwise as we go forward.
“It’s time for us to be smart on crime…the investment that we put into public safety, we also need to mirror in terms of investment in public education,” Mosby said. “When we talk about the root causes of why crime takes place…that’s why I’m taking a holistic approach. When you look at my Aim to Bmore program (an alternative to incarceration for drug offenders)…young people who were facing 20 years incarceration, some of whom have gone from being homeless to now being enrolled in community college.”
The State’s Attorney’s race between Mosby, Bates and Vignarajah was bitter to the very end, with Bates threatening to sue both his opponents on the day of the primary election June 26, for what he claims were “lies” about his prosecutorial record when he worked in the State’s Attorney’s office from 1999 to 2002.
Mosby said she received a gracious concession call from Vignarajah who pledged his support moving forward, before she delivered her victory speech, but the State’s Attorney said she had not received any call or message from Bates as of press time. “I haven’t heard from him, but I wish him well,” said Mosby of Bates. Mosby said the large margin of victory is validation of her work so far.
“I’m grateful…I’m grateful that the people of Baltimore have spoken and we won big and I’m going to live up to that,” Mosby said.
Still, there are immediate challenges for Mosby; there have been 134 homicides in Baltimore as of June 27 (which is actually down from last year’s record pace) and the case of Keith Davis, whose third murder trial recently ended in a second mistrial. Mosby’s office says it is “reassessing” the case.
“I think this has been a tough race for everyone…and it should have been a tough race, we’re talking about some real serious issues that impact everybody…especially in the heart of West Baltimore,” Mosby said.
Ultimately, Mosby, who was thrust on to the national stage in the days following the uprising in April 2015, when she charged the six officers connected to the death of Freddie Gray, is still focused on a broken criminal justice system.
“It’s time for criminal justice reform in the City of Baltimore,” she said. “Baltimore has a unique opportunity to be a model for the rest of the country and I’m ready to take it to the next level.”