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Scott adds to lead in Baltimore mayor's Democratic primary

BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott added to his lead Monday against former Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon in the city’s Democratic mayoral primary. While the primary remains too close to call, results posted on the Maryland State Board of Elections website Monday night showed Scott increasing his lead by 1,385 votes. That compared to his lead Sunday night by 388 votes.

Scott has 41,420 votes, or about 29%, and Dixon has 40,035, or about 28%, in a crowded primary with more than 20 candidates. About 142,335 votes have been counted. City election officials are scheduled to keep counting on Tuesday. Roughly 5,000 votes remained to be counted.

Dixon held the lead early in last Tuesday's primary, but Scott made gains and took a narrow lead in results posted Sunday night. Marvin James, Scott's campaign manager, described the updated results posted Monday night as “extremely promising.”

The primary was held mostly by mail in response to the coronavirus. Limited in-person voting was held on Tuesday. For votes sent in the mail to be counted, they had to be postmarked June 2. Mail-in votes that are postmarked June 2 will still be counted, so long as they are received by 10 a.m. Friday.

The mostly mail-in election has had problems. Officials ended up authorizing added two voting centers to the previously allotted four over concerns that ballots were not arriving in the mail as planned. On Election Day, there were long lines and dozens of voters remained in line two hours after polls were scheduled to close because social-distancing measures prompted by the pandemic slowed the flow of people at voting centers. Early Wednesday, voting results from the city were taken down from the state’s election board's website due to an issue with ballots in one district.

Dixon became mayor in 2007. She resigned in 2010 after three years as part of a plea deal for misappropriating gift cards meant for needy families. She also ran for mayor in 2016, but lost to Catherine Pugh, who resigned last year amid investigations into lucrative sales of her self-published children’s books. Pugh pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy and tax evasion charges.

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