One thing is certain for the 11 Republicans trying to win a seat on the City Council for the first time in 56 years: they'll breeze through next week's primary.
After that, it's a contest tantamount to a zephyr vs. a cyclone.
The candidates -- uncontested in their primary while 66 Democrats duke it out for 18 slots -- are optimistic even though they're approaching Election Day in a city where Democrats make up 85 percent of the 316,068 registered voters.
They are running on idealistic platforms and shoestring budgets. The 11 candidates have raised a total of just over $12,000 for their campaigns, finance reports show. One 6th District candidate, Wayne Lewis Sherman, has only a $10 contribution -- from his campaign treasurer, Charles H. Howe.
But the GOP slate for City Council is the strongest in years, said David Blumberg, chairman of the Republican Party of Baltimore City.
Mr. Blumberg said he expects the eight-week campaign before Election Day on Nov. 7 to be an aggressive attempt to break the party's woeful record of not winning a council race since 1939.
"A lot of times, it's like leading lambs to slaughter, but this time it's not like that," Mr. Blumberg said. "We have been struggling to find the caliber of candidates. These people have experience."
The party's strongest bids are in the 1st and 6th districts, Mr. Blumberg said, where challengers will attempt to unseat incumbents Nicholas C. D'Adamo Jr., John L. Cain, Lois Garey and Melvin Stukes. One district, the 4th, has no Republican candidates registered.
In the 1st, 26-year-old novice candidate Tisha Dadd-Bulna said the grime and crime that surround her Fells Point home prompted her to enter the race.
A new mother, Ms. Dadd-Bulna has been a staff aide to Rep. Bill Paxon, a New York Republican. After living in Baltimore for two years, she said, she aspires to restore a strong community voice on the council and to fight for better schools.
She conceded that persuading voters is another story.
"The city is so Democratic and so liberal that I go to some homes and see that they have very conservative ideas. But when you say Republican, it's like they want to close the door in your face. Like it's a naughty word or something," Ms. Dadd-Bulna said.
C. C. Moss' bid for a 3rd District council seat began at Northern Parkway and Harford Road, where the 61-year-old retired businessman has stood every Wednesday afternoon for 21 weeks waving at drivers.
If elected, Mr. Moss said, he will ride with police officers into every neighborhood in the 3rd District to help build a rapport between the police and people in the community. Mr. Moss jokes that he is a natural for the council.
"My legal name is C.C. -- it stands for City Council, like I was born for the job," Mr. Moss said.
In the 6th District, candidates Joseph W. Brown Jr. and Mr. Sherman plan to form a political team to try to persuade voters in South Baltimore to support their GOP bids.
"I am into New Age politics. That says you have to take the race and party out of the election and you have to look for the best candidate," said Mr. Sherman, part owner of the Gateway Bar and Restaurant in the 3500 block of Annapolis Road. "I think it's time we get some council people there that know their communities."
GOP COUNCIL CANDIDATES
Charlie Baskerville Jr.
Norman F. Anderson
C. C. Moss
William M. Hall Jr.
Joseph W. Brown Jr.
Wayne Lewis Sherman