Elihu El of Park Heights peppered Rawlings-Blake with questions about her dealings with developers and a racially charged incident in which two members of a Jewish patrol group were accused of beating a black teenager. State's Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein dropped some of the more serious charges.

"You ain't done nothing for black people in this city," said Elihu El of Park Heights. "You're bought and paid for, Ms. Rawlings."

Candidate Otis Rolley swept through the market an hour later, handing out purple stickers, sampling chicken wings, and answering questions about his plans to boost employment.

"Do you have a plan to create jobs… for people like me who might have a criminal background?" asked Anthony Thomas, 40, an unemployed cook from West Baltimore.

After Rolley explained his plan to create incentives for businesses to hire ex-offenders, Thomas said he had decided to vote for Rolley. "I think out of these candidates, he has the better resume for rebuilding the city," Thomas said.

State Sen. Catherine E. Pugh ticked through a dizzying schedule, waving to transit riders near Mondawmin Mall, talking to children about health at Callaway Elementary School, hosting a radio show, greeting voters at a North Baltimore home and celebrating at an evening rally.

"I'm excited about being the next mayor of the City of Baltimore," said Pugh. "I've enjoyed the interactions with people."

Clerk of Circuit Court Frank M. Conaway also mingled with voters across the city, waving signs at McCullough Street and North Avenue, and passing out backpacks with school supplies to children at Edgewood Elementary School.

He planned to stay in his campaign headquarters today and "troubleshoot" for staffers and volunteers, instead of visiting polling places. "If you haven't done it all by Election Day, you can forget about it," he said.

Candidate Joseph T. "Jody" Landers III urged voters not to be misled by "political commentators and pundits" who, he said, were predicting the primary's outcome before most ballots had been cast.

"The point I want to get across today, in the strongest language possible, is that this election is not over," Landers said at a morning news conference at his Key Highway campaign headquarters. "The citizens have yet to register their votes. ... Each and every vote counts."

Landers, the former vice president of the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors, said he was concerned that the results of a recent Baltimore Sun poll would deter voters.

Rawlings-Blake had the support of 50 percent of the poll's respondents, with Pugh and Rolley in a statistical dead heat with 12 and 10 percent, respectively. Landers and Conaway were tied for fourth place with 5 percent.

"From the voters' perspective, the only poll that means anything is the poll taken on Election Day in the voting booth," Landers said.

Meanwhile, four candidates who are challenging City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young called a news conference to chastise the media.

Although 15 forums were held for mayoral candidates, the only one scheduled for City Council president hopefuls was canceled by the League of Women Voters because of an earthquake earlier that day.

That favors the incumbent, said Thomas A. Kiefaber, who organized the news conference that included two other Democratic candidates, Leon Winthly Hector Sr. and Renold B. Smith, as well as Republican contender Armand F. Girard.

"They don't even know who we are," said Kiefaber, the former owner of the Senator Theater. "Nobody knows anything about the second highest elected office."

Baltimore Sun reporters Ed Gunts and Liz F. Kay contributed to this article.

julie.scharper@baltsun.com