The Maurice Turner campaign takes issue with Dorothy Gilliam and her misguided perception of Mr. Turner and his view of the mayoral contest with Sharon Pratt Dixon.

The headline of Dorothy Gilliam's Sept. 17 column, "Stereotyping Women Is No Way to Win," is absolutely correct; that is why Mr. Turner has not and will not inject the subject of gender into his campaign. We believe that each candidate should be judged on where he or she stands on the issues. At this point, we all should be more concerned about what can be done to move our city forward, not what gender or race the mayor ought to be.

As Mr. Turner stated at his press conference on Sept. 13, our platform revolves around unity. There can be no unity if we must continually allude to distinctions that are related to gender and race.

As for the issue of crime, it is truly incredible that Dorothy Gilliam and others should interpret our position on crime versus our opponent's stand as a "transparent reference" to gender. Long before we had any idea who the Democratic nominee would be, Maurice Turner continually stated that he was the only candidate for mayor who had the experience to deal with the city's crime and drug problems. He also outlined a four-part strategy of which tough enforcement was only one component. At each and every forum he attended, Mr. Turner stated that he would make the issue of public safety a priority. This position is not new.

Mr. Turner now has an opponent with no experience in combating crime. Also, this opponent has yet to clearly define an approach to the issue. Based on this information, the conclusion to be drawn is quite simple: Maurice Turner is strong on fighting crime, and his opponent is not.

We firmly believe that this race will be won or lost on where the candidates stand on such significant issues as crime and drugs, not because of the use of "double-entendres and transparent references."

LON G. WALLS Press Secretary Turner for Mayor Campaign Washington