He raised questions about how much money she made at Pepco. She ridiculed him for not being on the streets more as police chief. He said she was just another Democrat, and Democrats created the city's problems. She said he was just another Republican, and Republicans created the city's problems.
In a lively, often amusing debate last night at Temple Sinai on Military Road in Northwest Washington, mayoral nominees Maurice T. Turner and Sharon Pratt Dixon squabbled over their credentials, backgrounds, party affiliations and even the value of one Isaac Fulwood Jr., the chief of police.
"Now, I believe in being tough," said Democrat Dixon, who has vowed to keep Fulwood if she wins. "And that's why I'm talking about supporting somebody who at last is talking about having police walking the beat. There are those who were chief of police and they did not walk the beat."
Republican Turner, a former chief of police, fired back.
"Crime is greater now and homicides are higher now, and I've been gone from the police department for 15 months," Turner told the crowd of about 100 at the forum sponsored by the Jewish Community Council. "So something must be amiss if I was doing such a poor job and the individual she's going to name to replace me has a higher crime record than I do. That shows you what kind of leadership she's looking for."
Dixon said that Turner had once been a "right-thinking person," but then he switched his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican to run for mayor. Republicans, she said, "fought us in terms of home rule. They fight us in terms of our local decision-making. They fought us in terms of aid to dependent children. They fought us on education. They fought us on child care. The only thing they can always find the money to do is incarcerate."
But Turner tried to link Dixon to the Democrats who have governed the District, even though she won her party's nomination while casting herself as an outsider ready to toss out the Barry administration's bureaucrats. "Who's got the city in a mess right now, Republican or Democrat? Democrats got us in this mess right now," Turner said.
Turner also asserted that Dixon earned more than $500,000 last year while working as vice president of Potomac Electric Power Co., a fact he suggested would influence her if she became mayor. Although Dixon did not directly answer his allegation, she said at one point in the debate, "I'd like to know what in heaven's name you think I do at Pepco?"
Earlier, the Republican and Democratic nominees for D.C. delegate, Harry M. Singleton and Eleanor Holmes Norton, dueled again over the failure of Norton and her husband to file District income tax returns for the last seven years.
As she has repeatedly, Norton said she had not known her husband, Edward, had failed to file. Singleton replied, "I'm sorry, but I don't believe you."