Maryland Del. Jolene Ivey acknowledged Friday that her running mate, Douglas F. Gansler, should have handled an appearance at a teenage beach house party differently but accused the ticket’s political opponents of “trying to throw dirt every time we’re making progress.”
“It looks like every time we get any kind of momentum, then they find something else, real, imagined, two years old, six months old, whatever, to drag out,” Ivey (D-Prince George’s) said during an appearance on “The Politics Hour” with host Kojo Nnamdi on WAMU 88.5 FM.
Ivey’s assessment came a day after a news conference at which Gansler, the state’s attorney general and a 2014 Democratic hopeful for governor, acknowledged a lapse in judgment when he appeared at a party in South Bethany, Del., in June and did nothing to stop the apparent underage drinking going on there. A photograph shows Gansler in the middle of a party scene, surrounded by young people.
“Doug Gansler has already said that what he did is wrong, he did the wrong thing, he should have handled it differently, and you know, how many of us parents have don’t done something that we regretted as parents?” Ivey said of the “beach week” party that took place in a house where one of Gansler’s sons was staying with about a dozen recent high school graduates.
The story, which first appeared in the Baltimore Sun, broke the week after The Post reported that Gansler regularly ordered troopers assigned to drive for him to speed and run red lights, even on the way to routine appointments. Gansler later accused a police commander who documented those concerns of being a politically motivated “henchman” trying to help Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown’s campaign.
Ivey did not elaborate on what she thought her political opponents had to do with the stories.
“When I’ve been traveling around the state, these are not the issues people bring up,” Ivey said.
She said the campaign should be focused on issues such as job creation, education and health care.
On Thursday, Brown told reporters that the first he learned of the photograph of Gansler at the beach party was when he picked up the newspaper that day.
“I have been very clear with our staff,” Brown said. “We are running a positive campaign.”
Ivey said during the radio interview that Gansler went to the beach house to talk to his son for a few minutes only because he was unable to reach him by text message.
“If only his son had answered the texts, we wouldn’t be here today,” Ivey said.
Late Friday, Gansler canceled a planned appearance before the gathering of the Maryland chapter of the NAACP in Ocean City. Gansler spokeman Bob Wheelock said Gansler was tending to a family matter instead.