It's a light landslide for Mayor Schmoke Clarke, McLean win

single-member districts defeated

November 06, 1991|By Martin C. Evans and Ginger Thompson

Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke cruised to a second term in yesterday's Baltimore general election, winning a lopsided victory over Republican challenger Samuel A. Culotta.

The major ballot question of the day, a proposed charter amendment calling for election of City Council members from 18 single-member districts, failed decisively.

Meanwhile, Mary Pat Clarke, who returned from political oblivion four years ago to become City Council president, zoomed to a second term over Republican Anthony D. Cobb.

City Councilwoman Jacqueline F. McLean, D-2nd, who ran a lavishly financed campaign, climbed another rung on the city's political ladder by beating Republican Marshall W. Jones to win the office of comptroller. Both Mrs. Clarke and Mrs. McLean outpolled Mr. Schmoke.

Democratic candidates for City Council again pitched a shutout over their Republican opponents -- as they have every election since 1943 -- despite spirited challenges in three districts, the 1st, 3rd and 5th. In Northeast Baltimore's 3rd District, Elaine Urbanski, the one Republican council candidate thought to have a good chance of victory, lost badly.

In the 6th District, Melvin L. Stukes became the first black candidate elected to the City Council from the Southwest Baltimore District.

Bonds totaling $55 million were also approved.

Voters, whose enthusiasm was chilled by the virtual absence of a mayoral contest, trickled to the polls in a turnout made even lighter by bracingly cold temperatures. Roughly seven in 10 eligible voters didn't even bother going to the polls.

Mayor Schmoke, loose and affable, spent the day riding from poll poll in a mobile home, offering juice, coffee and snacks to his supporters.

Greeting close to 200 campaign workers at his North Charles Street headquarters a few minutes before 10 p.m., he said that victory felt great but that the city's fiscal troubles put a damper on the moment. "I understand people are in pain," Mr. Schmoke said. "It is roll-up-the-sleeves time and time to get back to work."

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