Kenneth Davis, a 68-year-old Vietnam War veteran, said he voted for Elizabeth Embry (“the white woman,” he said) over Catherine Pugh and Sheila Dixon because he said City Hall needed an “outsider” to restore confidence in city government. “That would be healthy for the city,” Davis said. “I don’t want anyone who has been in the arena, especially not Dixon. I can’t trust her.”
Carol McCoy, a 66-year-old city worker in Morrell Park, said she supported Catherine Pugh because she saw her as a protégé of the late Mayor William Donald Schaefer.
McCoy said she liked Elizabeth Embry but thought she should run for state’s attorney.
“The girl has no experience to be mayor,” she said.
One candidate McCoy had no use for was the former mayor, Sheila Dixon, whom McCoy could not forgive for being found guilty of embezzlement, which forced her from office.
“Dixon’s a crook. Why would we give her another chance?” she said. “She shouldn’t even have the right to run.”
One polling site in Hampden saw a steady stream of people voting around 3 p.m., some old, some young, some toting small children.
John Beauchamp, a grounds manager at Johns Hopkins University, said he was voting for Sen. Bernie Sanders for president because of his support for single-payer health insurance.
“The health insurance industry is robbing us, it’s eating us alive,” said Beauchamp, 56, a Democrat. “And we need change, so I’m for anybody that’s supporting that kind of change.”
Eduardo Rodriguez, the owner of Gallery 788, an art gallery in Hampden, was also casting a ballot for Sanders.
“I’ve always been a Clinton fan, but I don’t know, something just changed along the way,” said Rodriguez, a Democrat. “It’s just apparent who the right choice is.”
Shawn Cherian, a 31-year-old engineer, voted Republican even as he acknowledged that
Republicans would have an uphill battle in Baltimore.
“I probably should have switched to Democrat, just because I’m in Maryland,” he said.
Cherian voted for 79-year-old Alan Walden in the mayor’s race because “he seemed like the only viable Republican candidate” and Ohio governor John Kasich for president.
“He’s not going to win but he’s the only real candidate to me,” Cherian said of Kasich. “I can’t see myself voting for the other two.” -- Carrie Wells
Elizabeth Embry appeared in Canton at the intersection of South Linwood and Fait avenues at around 4:30 p.m. to greet voters and encourage her volunteers. The Democratic candidate had been touring polling places since 7 a.m.
“I feel incredible,” she said. “I’m hearing great things.”
As Embry waved, a fire truck decked out in Catherine Pugh campaign signs and spewing bubbles barreled down Linwood, honking its horn and blowing its siren. Firefighter union members in yellow shirts dangled off the rear and the top of the truck shouting Pugh’s name.
For immigrants casting their first vote in a U.S. election, there was a special thrill in exercising their new rights Tuesday.
CASA in Action, an affiliate of the immigrants’ rights group CASA of Maryland, had about 20 volunteers on the streets of Baltimore helping immigrant citizens get to the polls.
Lydia Walther-Rodriguez, a 26-year-old U.S. citizen born in Panama, said the people she was ferrying to the polls were excited.
“For them, going to the polls today and voting for the first time, it’s really that feeling of being a U.S. citizen is taking over,” said Walther Rodriguez, a citizen since 2004 and a CASA organizer.
Among those getting a ride from CASA to a Highlandtown polling place was Ramona Reyes, a 39-year-old immigrant from the Dominican Republic.
Reyes said she would support Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary.
“I think this United States needs a woman,” she said. Her native country has never elected a woman president, she said, because of the prevailing ethic of “macho.”
Among the issues motivating her was the minimum wage.
“I think the minimum wage is too low for people who are working very, very hard,” said Reyes, who owns a hairdressing business.
German Mercado, 76, was also voting in his first U.S. election. After living in the United States since 1999, the Dominican native finally achieved his citizenship in February 2015.
Through an interpreter, Mercado said he is concerned about the minimum wage as well. Other key issues, he said, included better benefits for immigrants and improved relations between the community and police.
Mercado declined to reveal who he intended to support for president. When a reporter asked whether it might be Donald Trump, Mercado made a cringing motion and laughed as he gave a loud “no.”