On the first day of campaigning since D.C. Mayor Marion Barry took himself out of the mayoral race, two of his would-be successors yesterday attacked Democrat John Ray, the leader in recent polls and the top fund-raiser.

Del. Walter E. Fauntroy (D-D.C.), citing heavy contributions to Ray from area real estate interests, accused the at-large D.C. Council member of seeking to "sell" the District to outside developers, while ignoring the interests of renters and other residents.

"Ray is reaching out for more money from the downtown developers," Fauntroy said at a midday rally outside his downtown campaign headquarters. "John Ray wants to parcel up all of D.C. and sell it to the highest bidder."

"I do not know enough about Mr. John Ray to trust him to be able to stand up and be a man the way I stood up" on civil rights and other issues, Fauntroy said.

Council member Charlene Drew Jarvis (D-Ward 4) said during a campaign stop near Eighth and H streets NE that there is a growing consensus within the business community "that Ray cannot be trusted" and that he lacks "vision for the city."

The attacks on Ray were the first indication of an intensified campaign since Barry announced Wednesday night that he will not seek a fourth term. Until now, uncertainty over Barry's political future has cast a pall on campaigning and discouraged many political activists and potential contributors from choosing sides.

The sharp criticism also signaled a recognition by some announced candidates that Ray has gotten off to a strong start as a campaign organizer and fund-raiser.

Ray, who spent much of the day attending a council hearing and in his District Building office, said he is not surprised that he has been singled out by Fauntroy and Jarvis.

"I am sure that that will be the case," he said. "I expect that. To the extent that people want to take me on, that's fine."

Ray characterized Fauntroy's attack as "the traits of a desperate candidate."

"His campaign does not have any life in it, and he is trying to create some momentum," said Ray. "Fauntroy is running a negative campaign, but even with that, he falls flat on his face."

Ray frequently has been criticized by his opponents for being close to business interests.

As a group, development and real estate interests are the single largest source of campaign money for District mayoral candidates. A total of $499,513 out of $1.7 million contributed through March -- about three out of every 10 dollars -- came from real estate and developers, according to a computer-assisted analysis of contribution records by The Washington Post.

Ray has raised about $689,000, more than any other candidate. About a third of the money he had raised through March, $526,241, came from real estate or development interests.

Ray took a shot of his own yesterday, criticizing Fauntroy for formally announcing his candidacy while Barry was in Florida receiving treatment for alcoholism and chemical addiction after his arrest on a drug charge.

"I didn't go to the mayor's house and pray for him and then, when the mayor went to Florida to heal himself, announce that I'm running for mayor," Ray said. "I didn't wait for a draft committee to pull me into the race screaming and crying."

Meanwhile, the other candidates fanned out across the city or worked the telephone in search of support and contributions.

Former police chief Maurice T. Turner Jr., a Republican, continued his strategy of "walking the beat," talking to residents of Precinct 58 on Georgia Avenue in upper Northwest. It was the 33rd city precinct Turner has visited since launching his campaign April 2, according to a campaign spokesman.

Some political activists have said Turner stood the best chance of winning by capitalizing on anti-Barry sentiment, but Turner discounted speculation that his chances have dimmed with Barry's departure.

"It really doesn't matter to me who the {Democratic} candidate is," he said. "Mr. Turner wasn't an alternative to Marion Barry. He's the best candidate for the 1990s."

Council Chairman David A. Clarke (D) handed out leaflets and greeted riders near the Potomac Avenue Metro stop in Southeast.

"The only thing that's changed today is the press attention," he said. "I've been campaigning 17 hours a day long before Marion was in trouble."

Democrat Sharon Pratt Dixon, a lawyer, spent much of the morning telephoning potential supporters and contributors, who she said "have been reluctant to give because of the power of incumbency."

Dixon predicted that her rivals will likely focus on Ray "because they have to try to distinguish themselves. There is no reason for me to single any one of them out because I think they are all indistinguishable."

Fauntroy sought to revive his faltering campaign with a rally, at which he unveiled the brown recreational vehicle in which he plans to crisscross the city for the next three months, "taking our case directly to the people."

Fauntroy defended himself against Barry's accusation Wednesday night that he needlessly interfered with the mayor's legal case by trying publicly to orchestrate a plea bargain between Barry and U.S. Attorney Jay B. Stephens.

"I understand why the mayor is upset with me," Fauntroy said. "He's had to make a very, very difficult and selfless decision, and I applaud him for that . . . . I don't mind bearing the brunt that usually falls to a person who delivers an unwelcomed message."

Staff writer Bill Dedman contributed to this report.