Pratt outpacing Lapides in raising funds for city comptroller campaign CAMPAIGN 1995

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Political novice Joan M. Pratt has raised more money in the city comptroller's race than her opponent, veteran politician Julian L. Lapides, in what has become one of the hardest-fought campaigns in the city's Democratic primary campaign, according to campaign finance reports.

Ms. Pratt, a certified public accountant running in her first election, has raised $192,257 to Mr. Lapides' $156,484.

In the race for City Council president, 5th District Councilwoman Vera P. Hall has easily outpaced her three opponents, raising $121,871, almost twice as much as her closest competitor, 2nd District Councilman Carl Stokes. Ms. Pratt has spent $88,263, leaving $103,994, which she hopes to spend on radio and television advertising in the last week before the Sept. 12 primary.

Mr. Lapides, a former state senator, has spent $105,214, leaving him $51,270 for the remainder of the campaign. His campaign fund includes a $22,000 loan from the candidate and his wife, Linda.

Ms. Pratt's campaign finance report shows hundreds of contributions from Baltimore residents she identifies as fellow churchgoers, family members and friends, along with owners of small businesses owned by blacks and women.

Her biggest contribution, $6,000, came from the campaign of Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke.

Mr. Schmoke, while financially backing Ms. Pratt -- a close friend of his chief of staff, Lynnette Young -- is not formally endorsing either candidate in the race. His campaign also gave $500 to Mr. Lapides. Ms. Pratt's campaign finance report includes a $2,000 donation from contractor Robert Clay. Baltimore Democratic Del. Elijah E. Cummings' campaign gave Ms. Pratt $1,200.

Mr. Lapides' money came mostly from lawyers, politicians and ++ heads of colleges and arts institutions.

Mr. Lapides also raised money from several labor unions, including the Amalgamated Transit Union Political Action Committee and the International Longshoremen's Union, each of which contributed $1,000.

Mr. Lapides also received contributions from several of Baltimore's movers and shakers, including Abell Foundation head Robert C. Embry Jr., who gave $100; construction magnate Willard Hackerman, who donated $250; and longtime mayoral adviser Walter Sondheim, who gave $100.

In the race for council president, Mrs. Hall's sophisticated campaign has been helped by her endorsement from Mr. Schmoke. The Kurt Schmoke Committee contributed $3,000, and the mayor's wife, Patricia, contributed $2,000. Several council representatives also donated money to the campaign.

The Presidents Roundtable, a political action committee of local businessmen, donated $5,000, the campaign's largest contribution.

Mrs. Hall has $26,125 remaining, her campaign report states. The bulk of her expenses, $36,000, went for salaries, rent and office expenses.

Mr. Stokes has collected $64,881 and spent all but $12,567.

Most of his contributions were one-time $100 and $200 donations. Some of the big contributions include $3,000 from his former employer, Mid Atlantic Health Care Inc., and $2,000 from a newly formed political group including registered voters in West and Southwest Baltimore.

Sixth District Councilman Joseph J. DiBlasi, also a City Council president candidate, raised $33,875 and reported that after expenses, he had a cash balance of $7,778.

Mr. DiBlasi, a former vice president of Maryland National Corp., collected the largest portion of his contributions from the banking community. They include $3,000 from Frank Bramble, president and chief executive officer of First Maryland Bancorp; $2,000 from MBNA Corp.; and $500 from NationsBank of Maryland.

Lawrence A. Bell III, a 4th District councilman who is the fourth candidate in the race, raised the smallest mount. His neighborhood-based campaign had taken in $33,050. After expenses, Mr. Bell had $7,601.

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