Dypsky, 84, joins Democrats in mayor's race CAMPAIGN 1995

P. C.

July 04, 1995|By This article was written and reported by Sun staff writers JoAnna Daemmrich, Robert Guy Matthews and Eric Siegel.

An older man with a familiar political name is among the candidates for mayor of Baltimore -- but it's not former Gov. William Donald Schaefer.

Philip Charles Dypsky Sr., 84, a one-time bar owner who is part of the East Baltimore family that includes a current and former member of the state legislature, joins the mayor, the City Council president and a water-taxi driver in seeking the city's highest office.

In all, 84 Democrats and 14 Republicans had filed late yesterday for three citywide offices and six councilmanic districts in September's primary elections.

The Republicans had been hopeful of persuading Mr. Schaefer, Baltimore's mayor from 1971 through 1986, to switch parties and run in the November general election. That likely would have set up a race against one of the two top Democratic contenders, Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke and City Council President Mary Pat Clarke.

But Mr. Schaefer did not meet last month's deadline for switching parties, and the Republicans are left with five political novices in the race for mayor: Olubode Olarewaju Abisola, an East Eager Street resident; Victor Clark Jr. a West Lafayette Avenue resident; Arthur W. Cuffie Jr., a Bolton Hill resident and retired federal government employee; Naholia M. Eggleston, a Rosemont resident; and Stephen Scott McCown, a former city police detective involved in a controversial 1980 shooting of an unarmed 17-year-old.

Candidates for council president and comptroller and the 18 council seats contained a host of familiar names: current officeholders looking to move up, former ones looking to regain their political foothold and young hopefuls looking to carry on their families' political tradition.

Mr. Schmoke and Mrs. Clarke -- who announced their intention to run nearly two years ago -- made their candidacies official last month.

Besides Mr. Dypsky, they were joined by Kelley Brohawn, a 37-year-old who drives a water taxi.

Mr. Dypsky -- who has one brother, Cornell Dypski, in the House of Delegates, and another Ray, a former delegate -- was not on the voter rolls as recently as two weeks ago, election officials said.

He showed up at the Board of Elections yesterday afternoon in a straw hat and yellow jacket to correct a mistake in the address he gave when he filed Friday.

"I don't think I'm going to win, 'cause I don't have that kind of money," said Mr. Dypsky, whose last race was an unsuccessful bid for a City Council seat in 1979. "I just want the opportunity of establishing a platform that I would pass if I won."

Asked what that platform would include, Mr. Dypsky, a one-time Boy Scout troop leader, said: "The Scouting movement."

Mrs. Clarke and her political strategists accused the Schmoke campaign of encouraging Mr. Dypsky's candidacy because of its potential to take away votes from her in white ethnic enclaves in East Baltimore. "It looks like a Schmokean gun to me," Mrs. Clarke said.

The Kurt Schmoke Committee was quick to dismiss the allegation. "We're not putting anybody up to run for mayor. We're running straight ahead," said campaign spokesman Craig Kirby.

Mr. Brohawn, the water taxi driver, was said to be behind the wheel last night and unavailable for immediate comment.

In what is becoming a hotly contested Democratic primary race to succeed Mrs. Clarke as council president, there was a new entry in the expected field of candidates -- Shelton Stewart, former city sheriff. Mr. Stewart was ousted in 1988 after he was convicted of trying to stop an investigation into fund raising for his 1986 sheriff's campaign.

Just before the 9 p.m. deadline, Councilman Lawrence A. Bell III, who represents West Baltimore's 4th District, showed up to file for the council presidency, ending speculation about whether he would carry through with his announced plans.

Also vying for the seat are Vera P. Hall, the council vice president who represents Northwestern Baltimore; Carl Stokes, a councilman from the east side; and Joseph J. DiBlasi, a South Baltimore councilman.

The comptroller's race is a match between Democrats Julian L. Lapides, who represented Baltimore in the General Assembly for nearly a third of a century; Joan M. Pratt, a political novice and certified public accountant; and Brian L. Carter, who filed at the last minute.

No Republicans are running for council president or comptroller in the heavily Democratic city where victory in the Democratic primary has been tantamount to election.

Paula Johnson Branch, a councilwoman who represents East Baltimore's 2nd District, also waited until minutes before the deadline to file for another term. She and Councilman Anthony J. Ambridge are vying for the district's three seats in a crowded field of many newcomers.

In Northwestern Baltimore's 5th District, only one incumbent is left with Mrs. Hall running for council president and Iris G. Reeves retiring after 12 years on the council.

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