Despite poll results, Mfume says he won't run for mayor

April 30, 2003|By Doug Donovan | Doug Donovan,SUN STAFF

Although a poll indicates that he could trounce Mayor Martin O'Malley in September's Democratic primary, Kweisi Mfume said yesterday that he is not planning to run for mayor.

"It's not something I'm considering at the moment," said Mfume, president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. "If I was going to be running for office, I'd be out doing something by now."

If he did, the poll by Gonzales/Arscott Research & Communications Inc. indicated that the former U.S. congressman "trounces the incumbent mayor" in a race dominated by issues of drugs, crime and schools.

The poll was paid for by the polling company and not by outside parties, according to Carol A. Arscott, co-founder of the firm and the former chairwoman of the Howard County Republican Party.

If the Sept. 9 primary were held today, according to the poll, Mfume would win 51 percent of the vote, O'Malley would get 32 percent and 17 percent would be undecided.

"I've never seen positive name identification as high as Mfume has," Arscott said. "O'Malley's numbers are superb, but Mfume's are over the top."

The poll questioned 402 registered Democratic city voters -- 65 percent African-American, 33 percent white. Mfume's name garnered an 86 percent favorable identification among those polled; O'Malley received 67 percent.

According to the poll, O'Malley would defeat all other candidates who may run. Those include: state Sen. Joan Carter Conway, State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy, Baltimore Comptroller Joan M. Pratt, State Comptroller William Donald Schaefer and Walbrook High School Principal Andrey Bundley.

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