Two of the hardest-fought contests for D.C. City Council in the September Democratic primary are now being rerun by two of the main challengers.
In Ward 5, Robert Artisst, who lost the nomination to incumbent council member William R. Spaulding by 330 votes in an eight-way race, has mounted a write-in campaign seeking to unseat Spaulding in next Tuesday's election.
In Ward 6, supporters of Patricia Rice Press, a businesswoman who lost the primary to incumbent council member Nadine P. Winter by 120 votes out of 11,000 cast, also are waging a write-in campaign. After initially remaining aloof from the campaign, Press has now embraced it.
Press and Artisst are both distributing gummed stickers that voters are being asked to affix to the ballots. District election law permits the use of stickers in place of handwritten write-ins.
Artisst, 45, an associate professor at the University of the District of Columbia, said he probably would have supported any other primary winner except Spaulding. He said Spaulding has given the ward uninspired and lethargic representation.
Spaulding, 52, a cryptologist, is chairman of the council education committee. He sponsored legislation that created UDC by merging three public colleges.
Spaulding said Artisst, in launching his second challange of this year, is "a person who is more interested in himself than in promoting the welfare of the community . . . one who, when the game does not go the way he wants it to go, decides to change the rule . . ."
Ward 5 includes most of Northeast Washington on the west side of the Anacostia River, plus a small sliver of Northwest. Its geographic center is the Brookland neighborhood.
These are two other candidates on the ballot in the election.
Steven Abel of the Statehood Party, who is employed by the D.C. public defender's office, and Jonathan Owens, a lawyer running as an independent.
In Ward 6, nearly 30,000 red and white gummed labels with Press' name printed on them are being mailed to all registered voters, according to William Boyer, coordinator of a group calling itself the People's Committee for a Fair Election.
An additional 20,000 labels will be distributed Tuesday outside polling places. Workers also are going from door to door with literature, and are operating a phone bank.
Ward 6 includes Capitol Hill and a section of central Anacostia.
Boyer, an ordained minister active in the NAACP who also works as a night club entertainer, said the write-in campaign committee is composed of "people of Ward 6 who witnessed irregularities and inconsistencies in the September Primary. We voted for change. We need change."
In addition to Boyer's committee, the Peoples Committee to Write in Pat Press has been established.Both say they are operating under the conviction that the September primary was conducted unfairly and improperly.
Boyer alleged that Winter's campaign literature was located on a ballot table in one of the precincts and that longtime friends and supporters of Wintr helped count the ballots, among other alleged abuses.
Mary S. Rodgers, elections administrator for the Board of Elections, said no formal written complaint has been filed that charges any irregularities in the primary election.
Boyer was a volunteer for the labor-endorsed candidates during the primary, which included Press. Press also is receiving active support in her write-in bid from the Rev. David Hall, a Democrat who also ran for the Ward 6 nomination and lost.
Press said in a telephone interview that she decided only last week to actively seek the Ward 6 seat again.
Press, citing the alleged problems with the primary election, said, "If the board had conducted itself properly, then I would have done what is considered proper - congratulated the winner."
Press noted, however, that despite the voting problems, she still did not plan to actively seek the seat again as a write-in candidate until a former employe on Winter's housing committee staff came to her last week complaining that Winter had forced her to work during the election.
The employe, Rebecca L. Francis, was employed on Winter's staff as an administrative aide under the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) program from September 1977 until last July.
Francis alleged that Winter used full-time staff members and CETA workers in her primary campaign. Francis said she often was detailed to assist in campaign activities, including selling tickets for fundraisers or collecting campaign contributions.
Winter denied all of Francis' allegations and said she is retaining a lawyer to deal with the charges.
Winter said she was surprised at the write-in drive by her primary election rival.
"I thought she (Press) was more sophisticated," Winter said. "Had I lost, I would have extended my services to her as a Democrat. Otherwise, there's no purpose in having a primary . . . . You should shake hands and come out and support the winner." The whole procedure, Winter added, "is leaving a bad taste in the minds of a lot of people."
Winter said she knows of no voting irregularities that took place on her behalf during the Sept. 12 primary. "It appears to be sour grapes to me," she added.
Winter said she is beginning to actively campaign now and is concentrating on the precincts where she was weakest.
Along with Winter, the names of two independent candidates, a Republican candidate and a Statehood Party candidate will be on the November ballot.
Charlotte R. HOlmes, 51, is a budget analyst for the Small Business Administration and is serving her second term as a Ward 6 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner. Sh is running as an independent, as is Sonny Better, 41, a former high school teacher.
The Republican candidate is Julie M. Servaites, 37, a former journalist from upstate New York who has lived in Washington and in Ward 6 for 13 years. She is active in citywide Republican affairs, including membership on the party's D.C. Central Committee.
Anton Wood, 29, who is on leave from his job as a consumer education counselor for the D.C. Office of Consumer Protection, is the Statehood Party candidate. Wood is a former ANC commissioner.
In another election development, Raymond W. Powell announced his write-in candidacy for one of the two at-large seats on the councur to be filled next Tuesday. Powell, who sought a council seat in 1974, is employed by an automobile dealer.