6th District: Lee, Reisinger, Stukes

September 02, 1995

The Sixth District extends from Curtis Bay to Edmondson Village. It includes some of the city's poorest neighborhoods. Alienation runs so deep that people in Brooklyn make no secret of their desire to secede and join Anne Arundel County.

A district like this needs quality representation. Alas, this Southwest Baltimore district was long known as the "Silent Sixth" because its councilmen seldom opened their mouths.

This year's election gives residents of the Sixth a chance to upgrade their representation.

Even though there is no GOP primary, the party has fielded a full slate. The strongest among its three candidates is insurance executive Joseph Brown Jr., who says he is "a Republican because Bull Connor and George Wallace were Democrats." He and Wayne Lewis Sherman are likely to be credible contenders in November.

Among Democrats, The Sun supports Otis E. Lee, Edward L. Reisinger and Melvin L. Stukes.

This was not an easy recommendation to make. There are several other attractive Democratic candidates in the race, including the Rev. Norman A. Handy Sr., who was appointed to the council some five months ago. The weighty problems of the Sixth made it clear, however, that the district needs doers and not rhetorical leaders.

This is why we decided to take a gamble with Otis Lee. A retired Chessie System accountant and a co-worker of A. Philip Randolph, he is a septuagenarian World War II veteran who got angry enough to run for the council because of a controversial landfill proposal in his neighborhood. We like his impatience. He would be a councilman responsive to community concerns.

Edward L. Reisinger served briefly as an appointed council member some five years ago. Unlike his colleagues at the time, this laboratory manager for an optical company made an effort to attend community meetings and rectify problems in the district. He has our support.

Melvin Stukes became the first African-American to be elected to the council from the Sixth four years ago. He likes speechifying but has done an adequate job. We have no trouble recommending that he be renominated.

With nine Democratic candidates running for the council, voters have many other choices. Michael Keeney, a former four-term president of Communities to Improve Life, is likely to make a strong showing. So is Rodney Orange, president of the Baltimore City branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

The Sun endorses Otis Lee, Ed Reisinger and Melvin Stukes in the conviction they can best address the district's -- and the city's -- problems.

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