Maryland Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Douglas F. Gansler opened his Prince George’s County campaign office in a converted warehouse in Forestville over the weekend and in doing so said that the county hasn’t had much luck in tapping into the boom in new amenities and housing much of the region is enjoying.
Here’s what Gansler told the Post’s John Wagner:
“When people get up in front of you and say, ‘We have one Maryland,’ we do on a map,” Gansler said. “But we have two Marylands: There are those who have it and those who don’t.”
He said there is a great discrepancy in economic development around Metro stops in Prince George’s compared to other counties in the region. “There’s no development around them,” Gansler said of the Prince George’s locations. “There’s no economic development.”
Gansler said that when he was growing up, “You couldn’t shop in a mall in Prince George’s or go to a restaurant with a table cloth in Prince George’s. You had to come to Montgomery County or Anne Arundel County. And it’s not that different now.”
Some would beg to differ.
A $645 million regional hospital is coming to the Boulevard at the Capital Centre in Largo. A new headquarters for the state housing authority is coming to New Carrollton. Greenbelt is a candidate for the future FBI headquarters and Metro is moving to develop the area around Morgan Boulevard station.
As for the comments about restaurants and shopping, the Prince George’s County malls have not fared well recently (even Sears is leaving Landover Mall) but National Harbor brought on Tanger outlets and is adding an enormous Ferris wheel. Plus the county’s first Whole Foods is under construction.
Those oversights prompted more than two dozen Prince George’s County politicians, many of them supporters of Gansler’s opponent, Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, to write an angry response. An excerpt:
“His words are demeaning and nothing could be further from the truth. The only thing that has ever prevented Mr. Gansler from shopping or eating in our County is the out of touch stereotypes that he’s now perpetuating to try to win an election. From the Hyattsville Arts District, to the Woodmore Town Center, to National Harbor, there are plenty of places to have a great meal and do some shopping in Prince George’s County. It’s too bad Doug Gansler can’t see fit to recognize the progress we’ve made together.”
Sen. James C. Rosapepe (D-Prince George’s), a supporter of Brown’s, took personal umbrage at Gansler’s dismissive comments about the Prince George’s culinary scene, telling the Post: “I think I need to invite Doug to the Old Line Bistro in Beltsville or Pasta Plus in Laurel.”
Perhaps some Italian food courtesy of Pasta Plus Market owners, and brothers, Massimo, left, and Sabatino Mazziotti, would clear all this up.
Follow Jonathan O’Connell on Twitter: @oconnellpostbiz