Republican Carol Schwartz apparently won a complicated, politically divisive race for the D.C. City Council with overwhelming support from predominantly white Ward 3 and gentrified areas of the central city and Capitol Hill, while incumbent Jerry A. Moore Jr. (R-At Large) and Statehood Party candidate Josephine Butler split the lion's share of the black vote.
Among the big losers in Tuesdays's general election were labor leaders, who backed Butler, and six Democratic City Council members and scores of Mayor Marion Barry's supporters who backed Moore.
Ron Richardson, secretary-treasurer of Local 25 of the Hotel and Restaurant Employees Union, yesterday blasted City Council Chairman David Clarke and the five other council members who supported Moore's ill-fated write-in campaign, after Moore lost to Schwartz in the Republican primary.
"Butler would have easily beaten Carol Schwartz 2 to 1, but for the interference in the normal party political process by certain Democrats turned Republican," Richardson said. "What we have is a group of Democrats on the City Council totally responsible for electing Carol Schwartz."
Clarke said yesterday that he never tried to deliver votes for Moore or tell people what to do. Rather, he said, he supported the write-in to voice his feeling that the veteran Moore deserved another term.
The District's record turnout of 208,418 voters produced one other notable loser: President Ronald Reagan, who failed to improve on his 1980 District showing of 13.4 percent or 23,545 votes as he swept to an historic 49-state victory over Democrat Walter F. Mondale. Mondale won the District's three electoral votes with an 83 percent showing.
Clarence McKee, chairman of the D.C. Reagan-Bush Committee, had predicted Reagan would pick up 25 percent of the District vote this time. Instead, Reagan won only 12.9 percent of the vote, although his total of 26,805 votes was a slight improvement over the 1980 figure.
"The Republicans were wrong about the District," Barry said yesterday. "There's a strong [negative] feeling about Reagan among the black community."
Reagan's best showing was in Ward 3, an upper-income area west of Rock Creek Park that contains about 42 percent of the District's 21,747 registered Republicans. There he received 11,579 votes.
In Wards 4, 5, 7 and 8, areas in Northwest, Northeast and Southeast Washington that contain the majority of the city's black residents, Reagan received a total of 5,368 votes -- an increase of 1,323 over his 1980 total.
D.C. Del. Walter E. Fauntroy was unopposed as he won reelection to his eighth term in Congress with 147,240 votes.
In the City Council races, incumbents John Wilson (D-Ward 2), Charlene Drew Jarvis (D-Ward 4), H.R. Crawford (D-Ward 7), Wilhelmina J. Rolark (D-Ward 8) and John Ray (D-At Large) easily won reelection.
The Republican Moore ran for reelection in the primary with the endorsement of Barry and much of the city's Democratic leadership.
After Moore's primary loss, a write-in campaign for him was launched by six council Democrats, many of the mayor's supporters and scores of Baptist ministers. At the same time, labor united behind Butler's campaign, effectively splintering a Democratic-labor alliance that has had some success in recent years.
Barry said yesterday he concluded it would be a no-win situation for him to get involved in the race so he publicly remained neutral during the general election campaign. Many of his Ward 6 supporters were lining up behind Butler, Barry said, while a large number of his backers in Wards 2, 3 and 6 favored Schwartz.
Moreover, Barry said, he has the support of at least eight council members on most key issues and wasn't concerned that the loss of Moore would cost him a working majority on the 13-member council.
An analysis of complete but unofficial returns show that Schwartz, a former school board member, benefited from a substantial turnout in her home base of Ward 3, where she received 20,223 votes, or 40 percent of her 50,892 total. She also made a strong showing in the gentrified inner-city areas of Wards 1 and 2 and the Capitol Hill section of Ward 6 west of the Anacostia River. Those four wards accounted for 76 percent of her vote total.
Meanwhile, Butler and Moore's write-in campaign split a potent block of more than 36,000 mostly middle-class black voters in Wards 4, 5 and 7, and also ran dead even in Ward 8, the poorest section of the city.