ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Defense attorney Ivan Bates is now running unopposed for Baltimore state’s attorney, after an unaffiliated candidate withdrew from the race on Friday — a week after Bates defeated incumbent prosecutor Marilyn Mosby in the Democratic primary.
Defense attorney and former prosecutor Roya Hanna, who was running as an unaffiliated candidate, was his only opponent in November, but Hanna said she was suspending her campaign to support Bates.
In a city struggling with violent crime, Hanna said “there’s no time to waste in the work that must be done to rebuild the state’s attorney’s office.”
“Tackling this problem must start today,” Hanna said at a news conference with Bates. “Baltimore has voted for change, and that was the very reason that I entered this race.”
Baltimore is heavily Democratic, and there is no Republican candidate running for the office.
Bates said now he can focus on how to improve the state’s attorney’s office “so that day one we are prepared to hit the ground running.”
“The citizens deserve that,” Bates said. “That’s what we talked about when we ran, and that’s what we will give the citizens.”
Bates said he already has been focusing on budget issues to ensure the office has the prosecutors and positions it needs to be successful. He also said he has been discussing how to find a collaborative working relationship between the state’s attorney’s office, the mayor’s office and the police department.
“I ran on a platform of change,” Bates said. “I ran on a platform of accountability, and one of the things that we have really talked about is going after violent offenders.”
Violent crime has been especially troubling in Baltimore in recent years. There have been more than 300 homicides in each of the past seven years. Earlier this year, Maryland’s largest city experienced its deadliest January in nearly half a century with 36 homicides.
Mosby, who was a two-term incumbent, rose to national prominence in 2015 when she pursued criminal charges against six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, a Black man who suffered a spinal injury after police handcuffed, shackled and placed him headfirst into a van. His death triggered riots and protests. None of the officers was convicted.
In January, a grand jury indicted Mosby on two counts each of perjury and making a false statement on a loan application in purchasing a home in Kissimmee, Florida, and a condominium in Long Boat Key, Florida. She has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The indictment accuses Mosby of falsely stating that the COVID-19 pandemic harmed her finances so she could withdraw $90,000 from her city retirement account. Mosby’s gross salary in 2020 was over $247,000 and never was reduced, according to the indictment.
Meanwhile, incumbent Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger won the Democratic primary in a close race against Robbie Leonard after the official count concluded on Friday. Shellenberger was first elected in 2006. He will face Republican James Haynes in the November.
Copyright 2022 by the Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.
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