With only two days to go until Thursday's primary election in Baltimore City, reality is beginning to sink in. Barring unforeseen upsets, City Council incumbents are likely to be re-elected in the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Districts. In contrast, tight contests have developed over Democratic nominations in the First, Second and Third districts.
Understandably, the mayoral race has captured most of the attention. It has been an odd spectacle. Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke's decision to wage a low-profile campaign has made it difficult for the two other major Democrats, Clarence H. "Du" Burns and William Swisher, to raise issues or create enthusiasm. Yet the exercise has served a purpose. Unlike two months ago, there is now a growing realization among Schmoke aides that major changes are needed in the administration -- if their candidate wins renomination. The city's Department of Housing and Community Development, in particular, requires an overhaul. Why this could not be recognized before the campaign is puzzling.
On the Republican side, a lively race for mayor is being fought among Samuel A. Culotta, Bruce K. Price and Joseph A. Scalia. The GOP in Baltimore City is so minuscule that fewer than 6,000 people are expected to vote in the primary. Any one of the three could win. The candidates vary by age and experience. Mr. Culotta is a veteran warrior; Mr. Price is making his first try at an elective office as a Republican, and Mr. Scalia recently graduated from law school. Their contest has done much to rejuvenate the city GOP.