cloudy.png
Monday June 1st, 2020 9:40AM

Baltimore's problems in focus as primary winners look ahead

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

BALTIMORE (AP) — Democrat Kweisi Mfume says that if he regains the seat in Congress he once held in a heavily Democratic Baltimore area district, cutting violent crime in the city and its suburbs will be his top concern.

Mfume and Republican Kimberly Klacik won special primaries Tuesday for the congressional seat that was held by the late Elijah Cummings, who died in October.

In a district where Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than 4 to 1, the Democratic nominee will be the heavy favorite heading into the April 28 special general election. The majority-black district includes parts of Baltimore's inner city that have struggled with drugs and violent crime as well as more well-to-do communities in the suburbs.

“The first thing I want to do is to find a way to drive down this level of violent crime and gun violence. There are too many victims," Mfume said in an interview after his primary victory speech. "There are too many murders and there’s too much fear.”

Baltimore had 348 homicides last year — the fifth straight year of more than 300 murders — making it the city's most violent year ever per capita.

Violent crime also has risen in other parts of the 7th Congressional District.

“The murder rate in Baltimore County doubled in the last 12 months,” Mfume said. "In Howard County, we’re seeing things that we hadn’t seen before, so I think most citizens are concerned about that, gun violence and crime. I am.”

Mfume stepped down in 1996 to lead the NAACP after serving five terms as a congressman and repeatedly told supporters “experience matters” in his victory speech.

Diya Hafiz-Slayton yelled over the noise of the crowd at Mfume's victory gathering in Baltimore to say she was thrilled he had won and cited his experience as a main reason for supporting him.

"He's from Baltimore. That is exciting to us, and we need that in Baltimore right now. We know that when he gets to Congress he's going to hit the ground running," she said.

For the GOP, Klacik gained attention last year after her social media posts showing trash in Baltimore prompted President Donald Trump to tweet that the district is a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess” where “no human being would want to live.”

Klacik has pointed to a federal program known as opportunity zones as a way of helping struggling parts of the district. The program, which is supported by the president, aims to spark private investment in distressed communities with tax incentives for people who invest in real estate projects and operate businesses in designated low-income communities.

“I am going to do whatever it takes with the administration, with the community, anyone that wants to help and push this," Klacik said at the debate in January.

A crowded field of 24 Democrats and eight Republicans were on the ballot. Mfume dominated in Baltimore city, taking more than 50% of the vote, and he captured more than 40% in Baltimore County. In Howard County, he was among the top three vote-getters, with Maya Cummings and Terri Hill. Klacik won decisively in all three counties in the district.

Mfume also led in fundraising, raising about $266,000, according to federal campaign finance reports filed in the middle of last month. Klacik led in fundraising for the GOP primary with about $48,860, according to filings.

Whoever wins the special general election will serve the rest of Cummings' term through Jan. 3, 2021 and have to stand for reelection in November to keep the seat.

Cummings, who won 12 terms in Congress, died in October at age 68. The civil rights activist's legacy figured prominently in the minds of some voters.

“Those are big shoes to fill,” said Baltimore resident Kyle Baylor, who voted for former Cummings aide Harry Spikes.

Clarksville resident Laura Shovan, 50, said Cummings was "such an important part of our community.”

“It’s not just the seat. It’s that it was Elijah Cummings’ seat,” Shovan outside a polling site in Highland.

The Democratic candidates included Cummings' widow, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, a former chairwoman of the Maryland Democratic Party, as well as several state legislators who live in the district.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Elections, General Election News
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Unknowns of the new virus make global quarantines a struggle
Halting the spread of a new virus that has killed hundreds in China is difficult in part because important details about the illness and how it spreads are still unknown
6:37AM ( 13 minutes ago )
Baltimore's problems in focus as primary winners look ahead
Democrat Kweisi Mfume says reducing violent crime in Baltimore and its suburbs will be his top concern if voters return him to Congress
6:33AM ( 17 minutes ago )
Pelosi shreds Trump's speech. Right there on the podium.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has had the last word on President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech
6:33AM ( 17 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Rhode Island governor backs Michael Bloomberg for president
Billionaire presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg has snagged his first endorsement from a governor
5:27AM ( 1 hour ago )
Pelosi rips up Trump speech. Right there on the podium.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had the last word on President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech
2:12AM ( 4 hours ago )
Democrat's response to Trump turns to working-class worries
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has used Democrats' response to President Donald Trump's State of the Union address to swivel from impeachment to working-class voters' worries
1:17AM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Graft trial told Malaysian ex-PM's wife was influential
The graft trial of the wife of Malaysian ex-leader Najib Razak has begun, with a top prosecutor saying she wielded considerable influence
3:06AM ( 3 hours ago )
2 leaders of Democratic convention host committee fired
The two leaders of Milwaukee's host committee for the 2020 Democratic National Convention have been fired amid allegations that they oversaw a toxic work environment
11:21PM ( 7 hours ago )
In response to Trump, Democrat focuses on pocketbook issues
Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is using her party's response to President Donald Trump's State of the Union address to say Democrats are focusing on making health care more affordable
10:00PM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Elections
The Latest: Buttigieg appears to choke up after Iowa results
Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg appeared to choke up as he addressed supporters in New Hampshire after initial voting results from Iowa showed him leading the caucuses along with Bernie Sanders
5:54PM ( 12 hours ago )
Iowa Democrats release some caucus results after long delay
Democratic Party officials in Iowa have released more than 60 percent their delayed caucus results
5:30PM ( 13 hours ago )
The Latest: Buttigieg, Sanders ahead in early Iowa results
Initial data released by the Iowa Democratic Party shows Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders ahead in the state's first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses
5:17PM ( 13 hours ago )
General Election News
Unknowns of the new virus make global quarantines a struggle
Halting the spread of a new virus that has killed hundreds in China is difficult in part because important details about the illness and how it spreads are still unknown
6:37AM ( 13 minutes ago )
Pelosi shreds Trump's speech. Right there on the podium.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has had the last word on President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech
6:33AM ( 17 minutes ago )
10 Things to Know for Today
Get ready for Wednesday, Feb. 5 with a few things to know about the day’s news from The Associated Press
6:29AM ( 20 minutes ago )
Trump uses State of Union to campaign; Pelosi rips up speech
President Donald Trump stood before a Congress and a nation sharply divided by impeachment and used his State of the Union address to extol a “Great American Comeback” on his watch
6:27AM ( 22 minutes ago )
Virus impact: Automakers look at restarting China operations
Automakers are considering resuming operations in China amid efforts to contain a virus outbreak while the impact on other companies spreads
6:21AM ( 28 minutes ago )