State Sen. George W. Della's decision yesterday to drop out of the City Council president's race was no big surprise to those who thought the South Baltimore politician was playing games by becoming a last-minute candidate July 5. But to thousands of Democratic voters in Baltimore City, his pullout is a major disappointment. With Mary Pat Clarke, the incumbent, now facing only token primary opposition, her record and behavior as the city's No. 2 official will not get the kind of full probing it deserves.
Selfish and irresponsible behavior from elected officials like Mr. Della explains why voters are so cynical about politicians and why they have become so apathetic about the election process. It is ironic that we are witnessing this kind of demoralization here even as millions in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe are striving for democratic reforms and pluralistic politics, holding countries like the United States as models.
In Baltimore, 386,627 citizens had registered to vote in June, 1987, three months before the last citywide election. This year 68,023 fewer had registered in June. Much of the decline is attributed to a purge last year in which 57,837 voters were removed from the rolls for having failed to go to the polls in five years.