Stokes opens his campaign office

Ex-councilman faces crowded mayoral field

April 19, 1999|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

Baltimore mayoral candidate Carl Stokes paused briefly on the campaign trail yesterday to formally open his campaign headquarters downtown.

Stokes, a former 2nd District city councilman, dashed into the headquarters, on Guilford Avenue at Mount Royal Avenue, after appearances at two church services and a meeting with Bolton Hill residents -- and on his way to another event.

He stood amid blue and gold streamers in front of large "Stokes for Mayor" banners and spoke to a group of about 30 campaign workers.

He awarded baseballs to "heavy hitters" of his campaign team -- Doreen Rosenthal, co-chairwoman on issues; Kelley Ray, press secretary; and Ralph Gallman, who helped organize a fund-raiser last week at the Cross Street Market.

Stokes, 50, seemed to be undaunted by the list of Democratic mayoral hopefuls -- or the high-powered effort to draft Kweisi Mfume, president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

City Council President Lawrence A. Bell III, who has announced he would run for mayor, has yet to formally file for the Democratic primary in September. Bell's campaign workers have said he will wait until after the council's budget process is completed.

Mary W. Conaway, the city register of wills, filed as a mayoral candidate with the city election board Thursday. Other announced candidates include community and social activists A. Robert Kaufman, Robert Marsili and Phillip Brown.

Stokes said he has held about 40 "community conversations" with city residents.

"Homeowners invite 15 to 20 neighbors and friends into their homes, and I stop in to hear what they have to say," Stokes said.

"We want Carl to touch -- I mean really touch -- 200 to 250 people every day," said campaign manager Terry Taylor.

Stokes said he does little talking -- and lots of listening.

"The city has been neglecting neighborhoods and communities in an uneven way, placing all its emphasis on the downtown," Stokes said.

"They're not saying the downtown area shouldn't be looked after, but they're saying they want help in their communities."

Stokes said residents across the city -- in upscale neighborhoods and economically deprived areas alike -- want improved public safety and schools and better service from government.

If elected, he said he wants to restore a system of mayor's stations in the city's nine police districts. Under his plan, the director of each center would work autonomously to handle problems, rather than send them to "someone downtown," he said.

Pub Date: 4/19/99

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