"The people who turn out are the hard-core regular voters, they are the same people who elected the incumbents the first time around." said Matthew Crenson, a political science professor at Johns Hopkins University who supported Stokes. "High turnout usually means that people are dissatisified. Low turnout means they're satisifed. Or they just don't care."
Three districts, however, were guaranteed to have fresh representation as incumbents in the 1st, 7th and 14th - John L. Cain, Pugh and Lisa Joi Stancil, respectively - decided against running for re-election.
There will be two new council members in addition to Clarke: Belinda K. Conaway, daughter of Circuit Court Clerk Frank Conaway, won in the 7th District and James B. Kraft, an attorney who practice criminal and family law, won in the 1st District.
Clarke, who has served two terms as a council member and two terms as council president, easily cruised to victory by blanketing her district with campaign signs and by aggressively going door-to-door promoting her council experience.
The election also saw its handful of Republican primaries in five districts. Winners last night were: Carlos Torres in the 3rd; Bruce Fleming in the 4th; Owen Hanratty in the 7th; Joe Collins in the 10th; and Roberto L. Marsili in the 1st.
On the Democratic side, one of the most intriguing story lines to the election was the races in which incumbents had to run against one another. The redistricting gave most council members the advantage of being the only incumbent living in their new districts. But in three districts, council members were forced into face-offs.
In the race for the 2nd District in Northeast Baltimore, Nicholas C. D'Adamo Jr. defeated fellow incumbent Lois A. Garey and Cheryl Glenn, a union-backed candidate.
Incumbent Helen Holton defeated fellow council member Stukes in a close race with David Maurice Smallwood, a community liaison for a state delegate, Nathaniel T. Oaks.
In East Baltimore's 12th District, Bernard C. 'Jack' Young defeated fellow council member Pamela V. Carter.
Other incumbent council members who won yesterday were: Robert W. Curran in the 3rd District; Kenneth N. Harris Sr. in the 4th District; Rochelle 'Rikki' Spector in the 5th District; Edward Reisinger in the 10th District; Stephanie Rawlings-Blake in the 6th District; Agnes Welch in the 9th District; Keiffer J. Mitchell Jr. in the 11th District; and Paula Johnson Branch in the 13th District.
Kimberly A.C. Wilson and Heather Dewar contributed to this article.