Ivan Bates took his 6-year-old daughter, London, with him as he voted at his polling place at Francis Scott Key Elementary/Middle School in Locust Point.
Bates said he walked her into the building and explained the process of voting. When she saw the ballot with her father’s name on it, she exclaimed, “Daddy, that’s you! Daddy, that’s you!” They then held a pen together and filled out the bubble.
“To be able to share that with my daughter,” he said, “was very special.”
On Tuesday, Bates, 54, of Locust Point, was elected as the next Baltimore state’s attorney. He unseated the two-term incumbent, Marilyn Mosby, in the Democratic primary and did not face a challenger in the general election.
At 11:16 p.m., with 293 out of 296 precincts reporting, Bates received 107,349 votes (98.12%), according to unofficial election results from the Maryland State Board of Elections.
On Election Day, Bates held a gathering at the Sky Lounge at Silo Point in Locust Point. People including friends, work colleagues, members of the community and fraternity brothers from Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. joined him.
In an interview, Bates recalled how it’s been a long journey for him to become the next state’s attorney. He unsuccessfully ran in the Democratic primary in 2018.
So many people, he said, have come up to state that they trusted him with their vote.
“I’m excited,” Bates said. “But I also recognize there’s a lot of work, and so I’m very humbled just to be in this position.”
As state’s attorney, Bates has vowed to hold violent, repeat offenders accountable. Prosecutors, he said, will pursue offenses for illegal firearms possession that carry mandatory minimum sentences of five years in prison.
He’s stated that he would repeal his predecessor’s policy of not prosecuting certain low-level, nonviolent offenses, including drug possession, prostitution and trespassing.
At the same time, Bates said, he will not be returning to the days of mass incarceration. He has said he believes in collaborative working relationships and plans to visit a senior center and attend a police roll call when he’s sworn in.
Bates founded Bates & Garcia, P.C. in 2006 and served as managing partner. He’s represented high-profile clients including Alicia White, one of six Baltimore Police officers whom Mosby charged in connection to the arrest and death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old Black man who suffered a spinal injury in the back of a patrol wagon and later died on April 19, 2015.
Prosecutors failed to secure a conviction in four cases that went to trial, and Mosby later decided to drop the charges against the remaining police officers, which included White. She was promoted earlier this year to captain of the Baltimore Police Department’s Performance Standards Section.
Bates also represented several victims of the Gun Trace Task Force, a corrupt plainclothes unit that robbed people of cash and planted guns.
Before starting his law firm, Bates served as an assistant state’s attorney in Baltimore from 1996-2002 and worked his way up to the homicide division. He previously was a law clerk for Circuit Judge David B. Mitchell.
The state’s attorney is elected to four-year terms and earned an annual salary of $238,772 in fiscal year 2021, according to the city’s salary database.
Bates will be sworn in on Jan. 3.