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O'Malley Endorses Dixon To Keep His Old Job

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) returned to his old political stamping grounds this morning to offer his endorsement of Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon (D) to keep his former job for a full term.

Dixon, the former City Council president, inherited the final year of O'Malley's second term as mayor when he was sworn in as governor in January. She is running far ahead of a field of a half-dozen other Democrats challenging her in next month's primary.

"Are you ready to continue Baltimore's progress?" O'Malley asked a boisterous crowd in a plaza outside Baltimore City Hall that included a majority of City Council members and several high-profile state lawmakers from Baltimore. O'Malley called Dixon "a tireless advocate to advance the common good for all of the people of our city" and said he could not have accomplished what he did as mayor without her.

Kweisi Mfume, a former Baltimore City Council member, congressman and leader of the national NAACP, also endorsed Dixon, calling her "a new leader with new vision."

A poll in the Baltimore Sun last month showed Dixon leading her closest rival, City Councilman Keiffer J. Mitchell Jr., 47 percent to 15 percent, with 28 percent of the electorate undecided. No other candidate received more than 5 percent of the vote.

Though she enjoys a wide lead, Dixon has been dogged by the city's rising homicide count, which could break 300 this year for the first time since O'Malley took office in 1999.

O'Malley told reporters after the event that he believes Dixon is committed to improving the situation. "If I didn't believe she was committed to that, I wouldn't be endorsing her," O'Malley said.

By John Wagner  |  August 13, 2007; 1:55 PM ET
Categories:  John Wagner  
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