D.C. Mayor Marion Barry is unlikely to change his mind and run for a fourth term in the wake of yesterday's verdict, but he has not ruled out a race for an at-large D.C. Council seat, according to his top political adviser.

"I think he has made it clear that he doesn't plan to run for mayor," Anita Bonds, the mayor's former campaign manager, said late yesterday. "I take him at his word. I don't think he's changing on that."

When asked if Barry might run for an at-large council seat, Bonds said: "I don't rule out his running for council. He's a free man now."

Barry has scheduled a news conference for this afternoon at the Frank D. Reeves Municipal Center. Bonds said the mayor wants to personally convey to his supporters his feelings about the verdict.

Although it is too late for Barry to enter the Sept. 11 Democratic primary, he has until Monday to switch his voter registration from Democrat to Independent to petition to appear on the November general election ballot.

The mayor has said privately that he would not run for mayor as an independent, but he has discussed the attraction of returning to the D.C. Council, where he spent four years before winning election to his first term as mayor in 1978.

If Barry were to win one of the two at-large council seats up for election this fall, he would receive an annual salary of $71,885 during his four-year term.

Barry, who is 54 and has 16 years of government service, would be eligible for retirement benefits if he had 20 years of service, according to the D.C. Personnel Department.

Several mayoral candidates and others running for D.C. offices expressed anxiety yesterday over the prospect of Barry remaining in politics after being convicted on a charge of cocaine possession and acquitted on a second charge.

Democrat John Ray, a leading candidate for mayor, urged Barry to make it clear at his news conference that he intends to leave public office at the end of his term in January.

"I would hope Marion would acknowledge some wrongdoing, express his regrets to the people -- particularly the young people of this city -- and let us know at that time what his future plans are," said Ray. "I don't think those plans would be political, and I hope not."

Democratic mayoral candidate Walter E. Fauntroy said, "The political implications of this will not be clear until he holds his promised press conference."

Although Barry was convicted of only one of 14 charges of drug possession and perjury, some D.C. politicians said that the many disclosures of unethical behavior brought out during the trial wounded him in the eyes of many voters.

"I don't think he should run again," said Donald Temple, Democratic candidate for delegate to Congress. "For the mayor, the circumstances and the facts of this trial strongly suggest that he take two steps backward and get his life and his family together."

"I think he has already lost credibility," said mayoral candidate Alvin Frost. "I don't think they {voters} are going to turn and go back."

Terry Lynch, a Democrat seeking an at-large council seat, said, "Hopefully the mayor will do the right thing and be {contrite} and take the time he says he needs to heal himself and his family."

The candidates expressed mixed views about whether the verdict will allow voters to focus on the election. Some predicted the uncertainty over whether Barry will be retried will now preoccupy voters and the media.

"I suspect we are not going to get a lot of attention until the closing days of the campaign, because the media will continue to be consumed by the Marion Barry story," said Democratic mayoral candidate Sharon Pratt Dixon.

"A hung jury is an unsatisfactory result because it settles nothing," Ray said.

Council chairman and Democratic mayoral candidate David A. Clarke said the city, which some have said has been racially polarized and embarrassed by the trial, is ready to put Barry's legal problems behind it. Clarke said he would hope U.S. Attorney Jay B. Stephens would not retry the case.

"Normally I would want justice to pursue its course," Clarke said. "The pain caused by the trial has been so great that whatever would come from a retrial would not be worth it. I am calling on Mr. Stephens to leave the city alone and for Mr. Barry to do the same thing."