Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will not seek re-election in 2016, she announced on Friday.
The mayor said that she wanted to spend the remainder of her term focusing on governing instead of campaigning. Her announcement came as the city prepares for the trials of the six police officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died from injuries sustained while in police custody in April. The city approved a $6.4 million settlement for Gray's family on Wednesday.
"I've realized that every moment I spent planning for a campaign or re-election was time that I was taking away from my responsibilities to the city," Rawlings-Blake said at a press conference on Friday. "Because of that I've made the decision not to seek re-election."
Rawlings-Blake's decision was first reported by The Baltimore Sun on Friday.
Some observers noted that Rawlings-Blake faced tougher re-election prospects after the unrest following Gray's death and a spike in crime in Baltimore. But on Friday, Rawlings-Blake noted that she hadn't lost a campaign since middle school and that she was confident she could have won.
"It's not that I didn't think I could win, I just had to ask myself the question at what cost," she said.
Rawlings-Blake has served as mayor since 2010 and her term will expire in 2016.
Former Mayor Sheila Dixon, state Sen. Catherine Pugh and City Councilman Carl Stokes are all seeking the Democratic nomination to succeed Rawlings-Blake.
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