WASHINGTON -- Republican mayoral candidate Maurice T. Turner Jr., facing an uphill campaign struggle in heavily Democratic Washington, unveiled yesterday a strategy aimed at leveling the playing field: Seek some help from Democrats -- including some whom his Democratic opponent, Sharon Pratt Dixon, defeated in an upset primary victory.
At his first news conference since the primary vote on Tuesday, Mr. Turner -- the former District of Columbia police chief who was unopposed for the Republican nomination -- announced that the top-priority plank of his campaign platform would be a plan to "bring an orderly end to the bloat in city government."
Mr. Turner's promise was similar to Mrs. Dixon's pledge during her successful primary campaign to "clean house" in the city's government "with a shovel, not a broom." Analysts credited her pledge with having a decisive appeal to a widespread voter desire to see the city rid of the administration of Mayor Marion S. Barry Jr.
Then Mr. Turner voluntarily acknowledged that his plan for ending municipal "bloat" was one first proposed by David A. Clarke, the outgoing City Council chairman -- and one of the Democrats who lost to Mrs. Dixon.
Moreover, Mr. Turner said, he would, if elected, "do everything within my power" to "recruit" Mr. Clarke to "help in the effort to bring everyone together."
Mr. Turner said his platform "is not just Maurice Turner's ... because the ideas belong to others in addition to myself."
Mr. Turner is said to have similar plans to incorporate into his platform ideas from two other Democrats with City Council experience whom Mrs. Dixon defeated: John Ray and Charlene Drew Jarvis.
Mr. Turner said the fiscal plan called for a hiring freeze, a "significant reduction" in city employees through attrition and "an intensive effort to shift employees from unneeded activities to areas of need."
A spokesman said that Mr. Turner had talked with Mr. Clarke since the Tuesday primary.
An aide at Mr. Clarke's City Council office said that Mr. Clarke would not be available to respond to questions about Mr. Turner's announcement.