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Baltimore Mayor Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake opens DNC

Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake (R), Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge at podium. Photo by Daryl Joy Walters.In a last-minute change prompted by the Democratic National Convention’s email scandal, the gavel was brought down to open the convention by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake.

The task usually goes to the Democratic Party chairperson, but Debbie Wasserman Schultz is at the center of the controversy surrounding WikiLeaks’ publishing of thousands of internal emails revealing a disdain for Sen. Bernie Sanders.  

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Rawlings-Blake, the “mayor of the great city of Baltimore,” said it was an “honor and a pleasure” to kick things off. Perhaps a bit overwhelmed by the moment, Rawlings-Blake initially started walking off stage before rushing back in order to actually strike the podium with the gavel. The crowd loved it and her.

Beginning in 2013, Rawlings-Blake has served under Schultz as the secretary of the DNC, so she was a logical choice to replace the chairwoman, who has said she will step down from her post after the convention.