Do the three major Democratic candidates in the Sept. 12 election feel one of them could be the last black mayor of the District of Columbia?
Marion Barry: "Because of the bumbling and bungling [of Mayor Washington's administration] a lot of people -- including black people -- are getting a little disgruntled with black leadership. There are some white people who didn't think it would work anyway and are saying I told you so . . . Some whites worry that black leadership rides rough-shod over their concerns.
"Race is not a factor now . . . But in the next four years, if a black person would run and they were bumbling and bungling, then some people who don't see it as race now may come to the conclusion that since that's all we've had [black mayors], maybe this is the problem."
Walter E. Washington: "The racial mix in the city is basically unchanged and is likely to remain unchanged . . . Whether I like it or not, that's what's going to happen . . . There will always be divisions. But blacks are doing better, [too]. I wouldn't put it on a racial basis . . . blacks are just as aware as anyone else that the city is coming around."
Will the next mayor be black? "If he's as competent as I am and he's brought the city along as I have, I don't see why he would be anything but [black]."
Sterling Tucker: "I don't see it in 1982 or 1986, my view is that the best candidate available could win . . . Even in a majority black city, if that population doesn't vote, a white minority can be a political majority.
"I think the city is going to act pretty much as any other city acts politically. If a majority of the voters are black or white, the political leadership is going to reflect the majority . . . A white candidate in the city would have an uphill fight . . . I don't see the population shifting by 1982 to the point that the election of a white mayor takes place."