Perry Sfikas is hoping to duplicate the feat his boss pulled off 20 years ago -- win a City Council seat by running as an independent candidate in a district usually controlled by political clubs.
Sfikas, an aide to Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md, is set to officially announce his candidacy for a 1st District council seat on Monday. He hopes to run the same kind of campaign that landed a 1st District seat for Mikulski in 1971.
Sfikas will launch his campaign with an endorsement from Mikulski and $1,000 worth of fund-raising tickets purchased by Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke.
Sfikas worked for Schmoke in southeast Baltimore during the mayor's 1987 campaign. The race pitted Schmoke against incumbent Clarence H. Du Burns, who was extremely popular in the area.
Schmoke is to be the guest speaker at a $20-a-ticket fund-raiser for Sfikas Sunday evening at Steelworkers' Hall.
Larry S. Gibson, chairman of the mayor's campaign committee, said Schmoke won't endorse Sfikas on Sunday. "It's too early," Gibson explained, also noting that the mayor has bought tickets to other candidates' fund-raisers.
Incumbent Councilmen John A. Schaefer, Dominic "Mimi" DiPietro and Nicholas C. D'Adamo Jr., all D-1st, are running for re-election.
Joseph R. Ratajczak, a longtime political precinct worker and an inspector for the Maryland Department of Transportation, is making his second try for the council. And Bea Gaddy, an activist for the poor and homeless, has announced that she will run.
In 1971, Mikulski, a community activist and social worker, waged an aggressive, grass-roots campaign. She won without the support of the political clubs, a factor that had been considered crucial in winning any elected office in the district.
Sfikas holds two degrees from George Washington University, a bachelor's in international affairs and a master's in science, technology and public policy. He has worked for Mikulski for 14 years as her community liaison to southeast Baltimore.
In 1988, he was elected a delegate to the Democratic National Convention, where he supported former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis' presidential nomination.
Sfikas is expected to use his long ties with the community and 800 volunteers to run the same kind of aggressive campaign his boss ran 20 years ago.