List of mayors of Baltimore
|Mayor of the|
City of Baltimore
|Term length||Four years|
|Inaugural holder||James Calhoun|
|Website||Office of the Mayor|
|Elections in Maryland|
The Mayor of Baltimore is the head of the executive branch of the government of the City of Baltimore, Maryland. The Mayor has the duty to enforce city laws, and the power to either approve or veto bills / ordinances / resolutions passed by the unicameral (one chamber) Baltimore City Council. In addition, the Mayor oversees all city services, public property, police and fire protection, most public agencies, and shares with the Governor of Maryland, responsibilities for the public school system within the city limits. As of January 1, 2017, the Office of Mayor of the City of Baltimore has changed hands 60 times with 50 different individuals in assuming office in the 220 years of city government, 1797-2017. Incumbent Catherine E. Pugh is the fiftieth Mayor of the City of Baltimore.
The Office of the Mayor is located in the historic / architectural landmark with signature dome of the Baltimore City Hall (built 1867-1875), at 100 Holliday Street (between East Fayette and East Lexington Streets) facing City Hall / War Memorial Plaza and the War Memorial building, in downtown Baltimore. Recent incumbent Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (and former President and earlier youngest member of the Baltimore City Council), decided not to run for reelection. Maryland State Senator Catherine E. Pugh beat out previous Mayor Shelia Dixon, (who had been removed from office in 2010 for corruption after being convicted of theft of donated holiday gift cards) in the Democratic Party municipal primary election. She then defeated Republican Alan Walden and Green Party candidate Joshua Harris to become the 50th Mayor of Baltimore. She was sworn in on December 6, 2016.
James Calhoun was first elected in 1794 under the old Baltimore Town government, and continued as the new first mayor under the new City Charter in 1796-97, when the City was incorporated as the "City of Baltimore" (occasionally entitled officially as the "Mayor and City Council of Baltimore") under the authority of the General Assembly of Maryland. Calhoun continued to serve for another seven years until 1804.
Serving as the "county seat" of surrounding Baltimore County since 1767, the City was separated from the county by the provisions of the adoption of the new second Maryland Constitution of 1851 and became an independent city with the same status as the other 22 (later 23) counties of Maryland. Then the county seat for Baltimore County was moved after an election/referendum to Towsontown (later Towson, Maryland) with the building there of its first courthouse three years later between Allegheny, Pennsylvania and Chesapeake Streets in 1854.
Six individuals are credited with multiple, non-consecutive returns to the office after completing an initial term, and are counted as separate mayoralties. These are: Edward Johnson (twice), John Montgomery, Ferdinand C. Latrobe (elected four times), Howard W. Jackson, William F. Broening, and Theodore R. McKeldin.
Originally elected for a term of only two years under the original first City Charter of 1796/1797, now traditionally, the current edition of the Baltimore City Charter limits a mayoral term to four years since the revisions of 1920 (who can be reelected without term limits). However, the 2015 municipal /mayoral primary / general elections was postponed to 2016 in order to better align with national elections.