He said he suspects that many of the city's Democrats are closeted Republicans — voters who mark themselves as a "D" to have voice in the primary.
Persuading these voters to show their true colors in the general election will require changing the perception that a Republican can't win in Charm City, he said.
"The goal is to convince people it can be done," Shelton said.
Ready said "having a Republican or two on the City Council would be a very good thing for the city. Having an exchange of ideas and some new ideas."
But with the primary over, the campaigns are likely to be less visible in the weeks before the general election. As former Mayor Sheila Dixon put it, Democrats will ensure that there "is a presence out there" to remind voters to go to the polls in November. But, she said, "you do very little" actual campaigning from here on out."
"You don't put a lot of effort behind it," Dixon said. "The primary is the key election here."
She said she could not remember the name of the Republican she defeated in 2007.
What does the lopsided competition mean for turnout?
If history is any guide, much of the voting public will stay home. In 2007, the general election drew about half as many voters than the primary.
Turnout last week was historically abysmal, which suggests that the numbers in November could be still lower.
Nevertheless, the city has budgeted about $2 million to staff five early-voting centers for six days in the end of October and early November. The local elections board will operate 290 polling locations on Election Day.
After just 23 percent of registered voters participated in the primary, city elections director Armstead B.C. Jones Sr. predicted a general election turnout of 12 percent. He said he's examining ways to reduce the number of staff needed on Election Day to the "bare minimum."
Some have proposed improving turnout by aligning the city's election cycle with those of the federal and state governments. At present, the mayor and city council are elected odd-numbered years; the president, governor and federal and state lawmakers are elected in even-numbered years.
But making such a change hasn't been popular here among elected leaders. One reason: It erases an advantage ambitious city politicians have over colleagues in other parts of the state. Baltimore elected officials — including two of the state's past four governors — have taken advantage of the staggered election cycle to pursue higher office without having to give up their city positions.
Baltimore Sun reporter Nicole Fuller contributed to this report.