A candidate for D.C. City Council ward seat recently sold cakes and cookies from his own kitchen to raise campaign funds. Workers for another City Council hopeful peddled hot dogs and ice cream to get campaign money. A third City Council candidate partially financed his campaign by selling tickets to a picnic.

With 46 persons vying for public offices in the September 12 Democratic primary election, competition for a silver of the greatly divided campaign dollar has become fierce - especially among the city's 25 ward candidates for City Council.

The candidates for D.C. delegate, mayor, chairman of the D.C. City Council, and at-large City Council and receive most of the funds donated by D.C. citizens, businesses and labor unions.

Candidates for City Council ward seats draw from a much smaller base and are left to compete for the relatively few campaign dollars remaining in their wards after citywide candidates have swept through.

In Ward 5, campaign contributions have to be divided among the two women and eight men campaigning for the ward's City Council seat.

Virgil Thompson, who has used personal funds to finance his campaign, sold cakes and cookies baked by his supporters one recent Saturday. The bake sale netted his campaign $31, Thompson said.

Supporters of Ervin Phelps have held a disco that brought in $200 in campaign money and a wine and cheese party that produced another $100. Phelps expected to clear another $75 from the raffle of a Timex watch yesterday.

William Spaulding, the incumbent in Ward 5, has held a series of lemonade and cookie parties on the lawns of supporters across thee ward. He uses the occasions to woo voters and collect their campaign contributions. So far, Spaulding has received about $2,000 in contributions, according to Frank Braxton, his finance secretary.

Another Ward 5 candidate Robert Artisst, has staged fund-raising efforts that have run the gamut of selling ice cream and hot dogs at a Trinity College reception to an elaborate bus excursion to Atlantic City, N.J.

Recently, 98 Artist supporters paid $30 each to go on the New Jersey trip. The two busloads of voters were served wine, potato chips and soft drinks enroute to Atlantic City. Upon arrival, the group was treated to sightseeing and dinner. Artist said he made a $1,000 profit on the trip.

John M. (Jack) Thornton, who said he has campaigned virtually without expenses, will receive the proceeds from a barbecue party that supporters have schedule for his backyard on September 9.

Labor unions and small private contributions are providing funds for the campaign of Roland Rier, who said that a fundraiser be held at the Last Hurrah restaurant yielded only a small profit.

Robert King said he campaign has been funded largely by contributions from the 14th Street Project Area Committee (PAC) Ministerial Association, a coalition of 22 churches, and the 14th Street Business Association.

Both Bernice Just and Juanita Kennedy Morgan said they are financing their campaigns with personal loansand small contributions from friends.

Ward 5 Statehood Party candidate Steven Abel said he does not plan to hold fundraisers.

Attorney Joel D. Joseph, the only opponent of Ward 3 incumbent Polly Shackleton, is trying to raise his money through a direct mail campaign.

With about $500 in start-up money, half of it from himself and his relatives, Joseph hopes to send literature to all 25,000 Democrats registered in the ward.

Joseph said the mailing is being done in stages with every later containing a reply envelope for contributions that he hopes will pay for the next wave of mail. The total cost will be about $4,000, he said.

So far, Joseph said he has raised about $2,500 by this method - most of it in $10 contributions. The smallest contribution has been $3; the largest $50.

By contrast, Mrs. Shackleton said it took "just a few phone calls" to some of her supporters to raise more than $5,000 to finance her eelection campaign.

In Ward I, where campaign fund raising has followed more conventional patterns, candidates are holding receptions, parties, and coffee kiatches.

John Jones, campaign manager for Democrat Frank Smith Jr., said Smith supporters called their coffee klatches "chat and chews." Jones said a barbecue party to rase funds is also over planned.

Another Ward 1 candidate, Calvin O. Wingfield, said he has raised campaign funds by holding block parties, a card party, and a picnic bus ride to Delaware Park.

Wingfield, a civil servant who drives a taxi part-time, said he has also received contributions from hacks working out of Union Station.

"The money's dribbling in, but we haven't given up yet," he said.

Ward 1 incumbent David A. Clarke said most of his campaign funds have come from mail-in contributions. Even undecided voters have sent Clarke contributions, according to campaign fund records.

Funds also have been raised for Clarke at community fund-raisers and parties, he said.

"We try to keep things simple," said Clarke.

The simplest fund-raising campaign of all the Ward I candidates is being waged by Samuel B. Wallace IV. Wallace refuses to ask for or accept contributions.

Antonio Grillo, the Socialist Workers Party candidate, said most of the collected during a campaign rally at All Soul's Church on June 16.

U.S. Labor Party candidate, Suzanne Klebe, could not be reached for comment.

In ward 6, where incumbent Nadine P. Winter is being challenged by Pat Press, George Gurley and Statehood Party candidate Anton V. Wood, fund raising has consisted of a series of cocktail sips, discos, fashion shows, cabarets and pool parties in the diverse ward that includes Capitol Hill, near Northeast and part of Anacostia.

The candidates have used the campaign funds to buy posters, bumper stickers, office supplies and refreshments served at fund-raisers.