Six D.C. City Council members and five school board members yesterday endorsed Mayor Marion Barry for reelection. But the mayor declined to reciprocate by endorsing four of the council members who also are up for reelection this fall.
"First of all they have not asked me to endorse them and they have done very well without it," Barry said during a press conference in the mayor's conference room called to announce the endorsements. "We've decided that they'll run their campaign and I'll run mine."
Barry, who recently was endorsed by the area's major public employes unions, yesterday picked up the support of council members Polly Shackleton (D-Ward 3), William R. Spaulding (D-Ward 5), Nadine P. Winter (D-Ward 6) and Hilda Mason (Statehood-At Large), who are seeking reelection, and council members H.R. Crawford (D-Ward 7) and Wilhelmina J. Rolark (D-Ward 8), who are not up for reelection this year.
The mayor also was endorsed by school board members R. David Hall (Ward 2), Linda Cropp (Ward 4), Betty Benjamin (Ward 5), John E. Warren (Ward 6) and Nathaniel Bush (Ward 7).
Barry's decision to remain neutral in the council races enables him to skirt a thorny problem in Ward 6, where Winter, the incumbent, is being challenged by Warren, the school board member, in the Sept. 14 Democratic primary.
Shackleton, who also is in a tough Democratic primary battle, disputed reports that Barry has lost support in Ward 3, west of Rock Creek Park.
Barry got 46 percent of the Ward 3 vote in the 1978 primary. This year, many of his past supporters have defected to Democratic challengers Patricia Roberts Harris, a former Carter administration official, and at-large council member Betty Ann Kane.
"I think it's going to be a close race, but I think he'll do well," Shackleton said of Barry.
Barry said he was not conceding Ward 3 to Harris and Kane and boasted that he would win 40 percent of the vote there in this year's primary.
"Ward 3 is important, and I'm not writing off any vote from anyone," he said. Top campaign strategists say privately, however, that Barry neither expects to win nor get a substantial number of votes in Ward 3 in September.
Barry also confirmed yesterday that he has begun to curtail his fund-raising efforts, which already have grossed $691,919--the most ever raised for a local race and more than twice the amount raised by Harris, his closest rival.
In several recent appearances throughout the city, Barry has told supporters he was more interested now in their votes than their contributions.
"We have several strategies and in some communities we need votes more than we need money," Barry said. "It depends on the nature of the affair. In some areas, it's outreach, not fund-raising."