800 attend fund-raiser for Schmoke $400,000 collected for re-election bid BALTIMORE CITY

September 28, 1993|By Michael A. Fletcher | Michael A. Fletcher,Staff Writer

If Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke's supporters were disappointed by his decision not to run for governor next year, it was not evident in the size of the crowd that turned out yesterday to fete him at a $500-a-ticket fund-raiser.

More than 800 business people, politicians and high-level city officials showed up at the Omni Inner Harbor Hotel for the affair, which organizers said grossed more than $400,000.

"I think people are pleased that I made my intentions known and that I plan to run for re-election," said Mr. Schmoke, a Democrat. "This turnout shows that people are still interested in me and are interested in the city."

A week ago, Mr. Schmoke ended months of speculation by announcing that he would not run for governor, saying that he had unfinished business in the city. Although he was the leader lTC in several early polls, Mr. Schmoke said he plans to run for a third term as mayor in 1995. City Council President Mary Pat Clarke also plans to run for mayor.

Despite Mr. Schmoke's decision, the midterm affair was a powerful display of the mayor's considerable fund-raising prowess and the advantages of incumbency.

Working on their own time, some members of the mayor's City Hall staff stood in the receiving line handing guests souvenir appointment books. The ranks of the mayor's campaign finance committee -- the group charged with planning the affair and selling tickets -- included several business people who have received city contracts.

Even outspoken critics of Mr. Schmoke attended the party, including Councilman Anthony J. Ambridge, a 2nd District Democrat and ally of Ms. Clarke. Also in attendance was Democratic Prince George's County Executive Parris N. Glendening, a potential candidate for governor who was accompanied by several members of his campaign organization.

While there was some disappointment about Mr. Schmoke's decision not to run for governor, many of his supporters seemed relieved by his announcement.

"I am delighted by his decision," said Raymond V. Haysbert, chairman of Parks Sausage Co. "He just went through his rookie term and he is getting a grip on running the city. It is a job that it takes some time to be comfortable in."

State Sen. Larry Young, a Baltimore Democrat, said he would have liked to have seen Mr. Schmoke make history by becoming Maryland's first black governor. "If Virginia elected Doug Wilder, then Maryland would have elected Kurt Schmoke," he said.

John Paterakis, bakery owner, developer and major political contributor, said he would have been pleased with whatever Mr. Schmoke decided. "I think he is a good mayor," he said. "He would have been a good governor."

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