The leading black ministerial groups in Baltimore have endorsed the re-election of Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke and City Council President Mary Pat Clarke, as well as the candidacy of Register of Wills Mary Conaway for city comptroller.
The Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance and the Baptist Ministers Conference of Baltimore and Vicinity also supported candidates in five of the six City Council districts, according to the Rev. Collin C. Alexander, president of the Baptist Ministers Conference.
He said the candidates endorsed are:
* Second District: incumbent Carl Stokes and candidates Pamela V. Carter and Paula Johnson Branch.
* Third District: Nina Harper, George E. Brent and Sylvia Williams.
* Fourth District: incumbents Agnes B. Welch, Sheila Dixon and Lawrence A. Bell.
* Fifth District: incumbents Vera P. Hall, Iris G. Reeves and Rochelle "Rikki" Spector.
* Sixth District: Melvin L. Stukes, Rodney A. Orange and Arlene B. Fisher.
Mr. Alexander said the ministers did not endorse candidates in the 1st District because none of the candidates sought their support.
"These are the persons that we feel can serve well in that respective office," Mr. Alexander, the pastor of Eastside Baptist Church on East Preston Street, said of the candidates backed by the ministers. "Naturally, if anyone in the congregation wishes to ask our opinion, we will tell them [whom] the conference endorsed. We will in some way or another push these people. And our expection is that they will do a good job."
This is the second major endorsement for Mrs. Conaway, the Baltimore register of wills who is running for the office new held by Comptroller Hyman A. Pressman. Mrs. Conaway, a Methodist minister who was ordained in June, last month won the endorsement of the Metropolitan Baltimore Council AFL-CIO Unions over her two challengers, 2nd District Councilwoman Jacqueline F. McLean and 3rd District Councilman Joseph T. "Jody" Landers III.
The ministers endorsed an all-black Unity ticket in the 6th District, which was formed in an effort to break the hold of the white incumbents on those three council seats and to increase black representation on the council. Mr. Alexander said the ministers, although "sensitive" to the issue of increasing black representation on the council, "did not really dwell on it."