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Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott releases first reelection ads on TV, radio

Emily Opilo, The Baltimore Sun on

Published in Political News

BALTIMORE — After a pause on formal campaigning following the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott has launched several political ads to air on cable television, radio and online in support of his campaign for reelection.

The ads, which emphasize the mayor’s record on opening recreation centers and overseeing a reduction in the city’s homicide rate, began airing Tuesday morning.

“There was a time in the city where rec centers were not a priority,” a man identified as Kevin, a youth sports leader, states during one of the spots. The ad shows Scott slicing a ribbon at a ribbon-cutting ceremony and playing basketball with children.

“We can’t go backwards. We need to keep Baltimore moving forward,” states a woman identified as Brittany, a Pigtown neighborhood leader.

The spots are the first aired by a candidate in the mayoral race. Scott, a Democrat and Baltimore’s mayor since 2020, is seeking a second term in office. He faces a challenge from former Mayor Sheila Dixon, former prosecutor Thiru Vignarajah and businessman Bob Wallace as well as nine other Democrats. Three Republicans have also entered the race which is likely to be decided by the Democratic primary in overwhelmingly Democratic Baltimore. The primary is May 14.

Though Scott’s ads, which feature only positive messages about the incumbent mayor, are the first candidate-sponsored ads, they’re not the first to air during the race. The Better Baltimore PAC, a political action committee in support of Dixon, aired an ad critical of Scott on network television for much of last month. The PAC is funded in large part by in large part by two donors: John Luetkemeyer of Continental Realty Corp. and David Smith, chairman of Sinclair Broadcasting Group and co-owner of The Baltimore Sun.

The Key Bridge fell into the Patapsco River last Tuesday after it was struck by a massive container ship. Six people were killed in the collapse and only two of whom have been recovered from the site so far. The Port of Baltimore has been blocked to cargo vessel traffic since.

 

The anti-Scott ad, which included the message “Nice guy, bad mayor,” last aired on the day of the bridge collapse and was not renewed last week. Sophia Silbergeld, a political fundraiser working with the PAC, said the committee is waiting for feedback on the ad’s political messaging before making further decisions about ads to air.

Scott’s new ads seek to dispel the suggestion of the PAC’s ad that Scott lacks the experience for the job.

“I’ll be honest, I had my doubts about Brandon Scott,” a female voice states in the radio ad. “New, young mayor, but some of the same old promises we’ve heard before.”

The voice states that Scott has delivered on promises to open recreation centers and lower the homicide rate. Baltimore’s homicide rate fell below 300 in 2023 for the first time in nearly a decade. Multiple recreation centers have opened during Scott’s tenure, although several were in the planning stages before he took office.

“Now that I know he stands by his word, I’m standing with Mayor Brandon Scott,” the woman in the ad states.

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