Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke's campaign for re-election gained momentum yesterday, as a majority of the city's legislative delegation endorsed him for a second term in City Hall.
Members of the delegation packed a crowded conference room at the mayor's campaign headquarters in the 2300 block of N. Charles St. to lend their support and to hear Schmoke pledge "a campaign that's very positive, a people-oriented campaign."
But the mayor, whose campaign has begun distributing an up-beat video touting his achievements, also warned opponents that he will not run from a political fight.
"I'm not going to allow people to take cheap shots or free shots at me," said Schmoke. "I'll be there to respond."
Yesterday's event drew much of the city delegation's leadership, including Sen. John A. Pica Jr., D-43rd, delegation chairman, and Sen. Clarence W. Blount, D-41st, state Senate majority leader.
The lawmakers, whose support was never seriously in doubt, praised Schmoke's fiscal leadership and his good relationship with legislators.
"It would make little sense to move away from the experience and the leadership of Mayor Schmoke," said Pica.
"I see no reason to change a winning horse that is in mid-stream," added Blount. "I am aboard on the Schmoke train to victory."
Yesterday's announcement adds another crucial block of support to a Schmoke campaign that already is estimated to have raised more than $1 million in campaign funds.
In addition to distributing informational videos, the campaign has begun running radio advertisements and is preparing television spots, campaign strategists say.
Schmoke's chief opponent, former Mayor Clarence H. Du Burns, recently held a breakfast fund-raiser that was expected to bring in about $50,000, and plans a $60-a ticket event on July 25.
Despite the latest round of support, Schmoke cited the need for the informational video, an unspecified number of which are being given away to political clubs, fraternities and sororities and door-to-door.
Because of cutbacks in City Hall's public relations apparatus, he said, "we haven't done as much promotion of the administration and its accomplishments as we would have liked."