3 running for city comptroller mindful of Pressman legacy McLean, Landers, Conaway emulate 'watchdog' style CITY PRIMARY ELECTION/COMPTROLLER

September 08, 1991|By Ginger Thompson

There are three people running in the Democratic primary for Baltimore comptroller this summer, but it is the legacy of a fourth, Hyman A. Pressman, that is dominating the campaign.

Mrs. McLean has also been running a visible campaign, walk

ing miles in high heels through city neighborhoods, knocking on doors and asking for votes. Meanwhile, her black van, with "McLean for Comptroller" painted in gold letters, is often left parked on busy streets as a kind of movable billboard.

As the campaign has progressed, it appeared as though Mrs. McLean and Mr. Landers have pulled out in front of Mrs. Conaway. Some politicians speculate that the low voter turnout predicted in predominantly black areas of West and Northwest Baltimore, where City Council races are sluggish, could hurt Mrs. McLean. And Mr. Landers is steadily amassing support in Mrs. McLean's home turf -- the 2nd District.

"Personally I would go with Jody," said K. C. Docie, a community leader in Waverly, once part of the City Council district Mrs. McLean represents. "He's very accessible and very easy to talk to. Even when he wasn't in our district, he would come over to our meetings and talk about the issues that concerned him.

"On the other hand," she added, "Jackie McLean who was in our district, never came to our meetings."

However, Mrs. McLean has won considerable support in East and South Baltimore, including endorsements from old-line white political clubs, such as the Stonewall Democratic Club and the Proven Team Democratic Club. Mr. Landers suggests that Mrs. McLean has used her well-endowed campaign fund to pay for support in those neighborhoods.

But, Mrs. McLean insists, "That's hogwash. I haven't given them one red penny. And I haven't promised to give them anything.

"I guess what everyone is having a problem with is that in the very beginning people in my white opponents' camp thought they were going to get all the white vote," said Mrs. McLean. "But people who are black and white look at me as a candidate who is very viable."

The campaign has been a sharp one -- perhaps the hardest fought of the three citywide races -- with the three Democrats sniping at each other during joint appearances. As far as issues affecting the comptroller's office itself, however, there is little disagreement among the three on substance.

All say they believe in developing an agency's budget from the bottom up, that independent consultants should be used to review spending and performance of city agencies, and that the comptroller should be a more visible public fixture and the office should be more accessible to the public.

COMPTROLLER CANDIDATES

DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY

Mary W. Conaway

Age: 48

Neighborhood: Ashburton.

Occupation: Register of Wills for Baltimore.

Education: North Carolina Central University, B.A., voice major/education minor; Coppin State University, M.Ed., special education/mental retardation; University of Maryland College Park, special advanced student in clinical psychology; Wesley Theological Seminary, M.Div. (ordained to Baltimore Annual Conference).

Experience in community groups, activities: AKA-Epsilon Omega Chapter; executive board, Register of Wills Association; member, Southern Christian Leadership Conference and American Business Women's Association; life member, NAACP; Polytechnic Board of Overseers; Ashburton Neighborhood Association; Baltimore Urban League; member, Advisory Board Secretarial Sciences New C.C.B., and life member, N.C.C.U. Alumni.

Other political offices: Three-term Register of Wills; delegate, Democratic National Convention, 1984 and 1988; one term,

Democratic State Central Committee.

Most significant issue: As a member of the Board of Estimates it is my desire to effect positive changes for the citizens of Baltimore by advocating efficient government, providing fair opportunities and managing carefully the city funds. The issues that demand my most immediate attention are quality education, adequate health care, affordable housing and homeownership and economic development.

Joseph T. "Jody" Landers III

Age: 38

Neighborhood: Lauraville.

Occupation: Full-time City Councilman for 3rd District; part-time

real estate salesman with Carlton Insley Real Estate Co.

Education: Morgan State University, B.S., business administration, 1990.

Experience in community groups, activities: Member and past president, Friends of Northeast Parks and Streams; board member and officer, Harford Center for Senior Citizens; past president, Third District Citizens for Good Government; past board member, Citizens Planning and Housing Association; member, Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors, Lauraville Improvement Association, Victory Democratic Club, Friendly Sons of St. Patrick; steering committee member, Metropolitan Education Coalition.

Other political offices: 3rd District City Councilman -- two terms.

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