Today, the final installment in our pre-primary series of Conversations with the Candidates. Tom's guest is Thiru Vignarajah, a veteran city and federal prosecutor and one of a crowded field of Democratic contenders in the June 2nd primary election for Baltimore mayor.
A WYPR/Baltimore Sun/University of Baltimore poll released yesterday places Mr. Vignarajah just outside the group of three leading candidates in the race, but the poll also indicated that crime reduction is the top priority for a majority of likely voters. Will Baltimore choose a prosecutor to lead the City in the fight against violence and a global pandemic?
Mr. Vignarajah has spent most of his legal career in public service. He attended Yale University and Harvard Law School, where he served as president of the Harvard Law Review. He went on to clerk for Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer, and then served as a federal prosecutor at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore, working under then-U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein. Vignarajah later moved to the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office, where he headed the Major Investigations Unit. In 2014, he was appointed Deputy Attorney General for Maryland under Attorney-General Brian Frosh, a position he left to work on the transition team for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. In 2017, Vignarajah ran an unsuccessful Democratic primary campaign for Baltimore City State's Attorney. Currently a litigation partner at the law firm DLA Piper in Baltimore, he is one of 23 Democratic and 7 Republican registered candidates vying to be their party’s nominee for Baltimore mayor in the June 2 primary.
Thiru Vignarajah is 43 years old. He lives in Baltimore's Federal Hill neighborhood. He joins Tom via Skype phone from his campaign office in Baltimore.