By Jake Ulick and Emily Baker
Baltimore Watchdog Staff Writers
Elizabeth Embry entered the John Eager Howard Ballroom to a lively applause from roughly 70 friends, family members, and supporters as the results from the Democratic primary for mayor were still coming in.
“This has been an incredible experience,” Embry said. “I just wanted to come down and hang out with you guys.”
Her optimism was matched by her supporters in the room who all resonated with the message she was putting forth of eliminating inefficiencies in City Hall and putting a focus back on the people of Baltimore.
“I think we need someone who can look at all the different aspects of the city and see how they’re all going to work together,” said Erica Brickman, a resident of Union Square. “It’s not just having one good plan, it’s about having 10 good plans and synthesizing them for the greater good and I think she’s the kind of candidate who can do that.”
Brickman’s optimism was echoed by others in the room, from supporters to family. Embry’s mother, Marianne, spoke with confidence about her campaign.
“Her intellectual command of policy and effective administration of government was very strong from the beginning,” her mother said. “She’s somebody who’s highly disciplined and she invites constructive criticism and so she very, very quickly stepped up. I’m just incredibly proud of her.”
Her passion was reflected in her ability to achieve widespread name recognition despite her former lack of visibility as a candidate for elected office.
“Three months ago when I started working with Elizabeth, there were a lot of people who didn’t know her,” said Steve Kaiser, Embry’s spokeperson. “But she’s spent three months introducing herself to everybody in Baltimore and it really started to take off.”
But despite the positive energy displayed in the room and Embry’s hard work, she only received 13 percent of the vote, falling short to former Mayor Sheila Dixon and the ultimate winner of the Democratic nomination, state Sen. Catherine Pugh.
In her concession speech, she graciously thanked her family and volunteers for their efforts. Though she did not obtain her desired outcome, she remains hopeful in her expectations that Baltimore will move forward.
“I am proud of this election,” Embry said. “I have never lived through an election with so much discussion of policy and ideas and how to move the city forward.”
Her speech was interrupted by cheers from supporters in the audience attributing the mentioned change in discourse to her positive and genuine campaign.
Though supporters were pleased with the campaign Embry ran, some expressed concern over the election of Pugh, a candidate who many consider to be part of the city’s troubled political establishment.
“This is what’s expected. But I want more than what’s expected from this city,” said Sarah Landon, an Embry supporter. “We voted with our hearts, others went with the establishment.”
After the news of Embry’s loss, however, some still expressed optimism for the future of her career in public service.
“I think she ran a dead honest campaign which is a rare thing around here,” said Marian Weaver, an Embry supporter. “She positioned herself to be welcomed, red carpet rolled out into any other position she wants within the administration or within the state.”
Though Embry made no definite statement on her plans post election, she ended her campaign just as graciously as she began, vowing to help Pugh in any way she can to get the city she loves back on the right track.