Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott shared some good news on Friday morning — he and his girlfriend, Hana Pugh, are expecting a baby in early 2024.

Scott, 39, publicly announced the pregnancy in a series of social media posts. “Baltimore Baby Charm is on the way,” he wrote, before asking followers whether they think the baby will be a boy or a girl.

Scott and Pugh have made several public appearances in recent months, a rarity for the very private mayor, who has not brought a partner into the spotlight during his mayoral tenure.

She attended the screening of a new documentary about his political career, traveled with him to Las Vegas this spring for a shopping centers conference attended by much of Maryland’s political class, and wore matching outfits with him to the Preakness Stakes.

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Scott also shared at a news conference Friday that he closed on his first home in the Northeast Baltimore neighborhood of Hamilton, where he has rented an apartment for several years.

Mayor Brandon Scott arrives at the 148th Preakness Stakes.
Mayor Brandon Scott arrives at the 148th Preakness Stakes. (Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner)

Pugh has served as operations director since September 2021 at Bmore Empowered, a nonprofit that offers programming for Black girls and women. It also provides administrative and accounting support to Baltimore nonprofits and women-owned businesses.

Bmore Empowered will open a storefront on Howard Street through the Downtown BOOST (Black Owned and Operated Storefront Tenancy) program, which awards businesses $50,000 to open and maintain a storefront. The grant is operated by the public-private Downtown Partnership and sponsored by Guinness Open Gate Brewery and the Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.

Bmore Empowered’s fiscal sponsors have included the public-private Baltimore Development Corp. and the athletic wear company Lululemon.

The nonprofit received a $25,000 grant from City Hall, as part of Baltimore’s $641 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding. The mayor voted unanimously with the rest of the Board of Estimates in July 2022; aides to the mayor said that was before the couple met in September at the Charm City Live festival.

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Bmore Empowered, a non-profit that operates with the mission to create programming for Black girls and women in Baltimore City that provides them with the tools to live empowered lives through leadership, entrepreneurship, and holistic wellness. Bmore Empowered leaders are Kieta Iriarte-Amin, Nazaahah Amin, and Hana Pugh; their future storefront location is 5 N Howard St.
A celebration on July 13, 2023 to announce and welcome the second cohort of Black Owned and Operated Storefront Tenancy (BOOST) businesses to downtown. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)

According to her LinkedIn page, Pugh studied biology at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and graduated in 2008. She previously worked in business support at Autodesk and as a research analyst at the defense contractor Lockheed Martin.

She also owns and operates the consulting firm Pugh Insights, whose clients have included the Judy Centers for the Baltimore City Public Schools Office of Early Learning; the early-learning centers are funded by the state. The firm’s LinkedIn page says it operates out of Clinton in Prince George’s County.

Pugh, who is not related to former Mayor Catherine Pugh, has a 7-year-old son from a previous marriage. She shared a photo of him on Instagram visiting the mayor at City Hall last fall a few days after Charm City Live.

Scott, a Democrat who took office in 2020, is running for reelection next year. The Democratic mayoral primary will be held May 14, 2024. Former mayor Sheila Dixon has hinted at a run, but no other major politicos have made similar indications. The baby is scheduled to be born in the early winter months of 2024, which are traditionally the advent of peak campaign season.

City Hall managers do not have official parental leave policies; employees generally stitch together parental leave through a combination of sick leave, personal days and other paid time off benefits.

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Aides did not answer questions about who would fill in for Scott should he take extended time off. He has two direct reports: City Administrator Faith Leach and chief of staff Marvin James. Leach has operated as the mayor’s proxy on the city spending board when he is out of office.

Emily Sullivan covers Baltimore City Hall. She joined the Banner after three years at WYPR, where she won multiple awards for her radio stories on city politics and culture. She previously reported for NPR’s national airwaves, focusing on business news and breaking news.

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