The redistricting plan passed earlier this year will be put to the ultimate test in Baltimore's 6th District. For nearly two generations the district has been firmly controlled by the Stonewall Democratic Club, whose base in the area's white working-class communities enabled it to dominate virtually every aspect of the district's political destiny.
Redistricting, however, resulted in the removal of South Baltimore and Locust Point, two of the club's staunchest bastions, from the 6th District to the 1st while moving black voters from the 4th District into the 6th. As a result, the new 6th District is just under 60 percent black. Yet the Stonewall organization declined this year, as it has in the past, to endorse any black candidate for the City Council races.
The three incumbents -- Joseph J. DiBlasi, Edward L. Reisinger and Timothy D. Murphy -- feuded among themselves earlier this year over fund-raising and campaign literature matters but now are reconciled and running on the same ticket. In black communities, where they have run well in the past, the incumbents' signs draw special attention to their support for city comptroller candidate Jacqueline McLean, who is black. But on similar signs in the district's white communities, McLean's name is conspicuously absent. This sort of racial gamesmanship has been going on for years under the aegis of the Stonewall organization.