The Stonewall Democratic Club held off its endorsement in the city's mayoral race for a week at the request of former Mayor Clarence H. Du Burns. The club met Wednesday to vote on its endorsements in the municipal election campaign.
"Du came to us and said he felt he was gaining momentum and that he expected to get the Sunpapers' editorial endorsement," said former state Sen. Harry McGuirk, club president. "He asked us to hold off on our endorsements until after the paper announces who it favors in the mayor's race. Out of respect for Du, we agreed."
Stonewall endorsed Burns in 1987 when he was challenged by Kurt L. Schmoke. Schmoke won the election but Burns out-polled him 11,227-8,917 in the old 6th District, where Stonewall was the dominant political club.
So far, Schmoke has raised $1.5 million to Burns' $115,000 and has received many more endorsements.
Asked which mayoral candidate the board might recommend to the membership, McGuirk replied, "Let's just say that those involved in politics always like to back a winner."
The club voted to endorse Councilwoman Jacqueline F. McLean for comptroller and delayed an endorsement for council president although McGuirk indicated incumbent Mary Pat Clarke probably will get the nod. Because of redistricting, Stonewall now exerts influence in the 1st and 6th districts.
Last week, NDC-5, a 5th District political club, overwhelmingly endorsed Schmoke. Burns said he didn't expect to get the endorsement. Of 33 voting club members, only three voted for Burns.
Burns used the NDC-5 meeting to get a few things off his chest.
He blamed Schmoke for the problems in the schools and at the city jail. He also scolded the club members.
"The city is being totally mismanaged -- and I think you have to blame yourself because you did not listen to me when I was running for mayor," said Burns.
"You did not listen to me then. I hope you pay attention now," he said.
After delivering his tongue-lashing, a weary-looking Burns left the building and headed for his car.
Asked why he wasn't waiting for the vote, Burns looked back and said: "You and me know that they're not going to . . . endorse me. If they do, I'll read about it tomorrow and say thank you. But it's not going to happen."