BALTIMORE, NOV. 3 -- Heavily favored Democrat Kurt Schmoke became the city's first elected black mayor, crushing Republican challenger Sam Culotta by nearly a 4-to-1 margin in today's general election.
With all of the unofficial vote counted, Schmoke had 100,923 votes, or 79 percent, while Culotta had 27,636, or 21 percent.
Schmoke, 37, an Ivy league lawyer and former federal prosecutor, faced his toughest challenge for the city's top position when he defeated incumbent Mayor Clarence (Du) Burns by about 5,000 votes in the Sept. 15 primary.
Political observers figured Schmoke would face little problem in winning the general election, with Democrats holding a commanding 11-1 edge over registered Republicans in the port city with a population of 780,000.
Schmoke, a Rhodes Scholar, made Baltimore one of the last predominantly black major cities in the United States to elect a black chief executive.
The city's black population is about 55 percent.
Although Burns, a former City Council president, is black, he rose to City Hall when popular four-term Mayor William Donald Schaefer left Baltimore to become the governor of Maryland.
Culotta, 62, a secretary to former Maryland governor Theodore McKeldin in the 1950s, had called Schmoke ''arrogant'' for not accepting repeated requests to debate.
City Council member Mary Pat Clarke scored a convincing victory over Republican David Blumberg, a librarian in the City Jail, in the race for City Council
In the race for comptroller, Democratic incumbent Hyman Pressman rolled to a landslide victory over Republican Larry Gray.
Pressman, elected to a seventh term, had 99,959 votes to 13,430 for Gray.