Ivey's pedigree -- he is an honors graduate of Princeton University who holds a law degree from Harvard University -- has made him a standout. He has served as a federal prosecutor, a legislative assistant to U.S. Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), chief counsel to Senate Majority Leader Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.) and counsel to Maryland Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes when the Democrat helped oversee the Whitewater investigations. He also advised Vice President Al Gore during the Florida election recount and chaired the state Public Service Commission.
His wife, Jolene Ivey, a stay-at-home mother of their five boys, founded the national organization Mocha Moms Inc., a support network for mothers of color. Glenn Ivey also has a 21-year-old daughter who attends college in New York.
Glenn F. Ivey is viewed as a likely candidate for higher office.
Since winning the prosecutor's post in 2002, Ivey has spoken out about crime troubling Prince George's County, including the burgeoning gang violence in pockets of the county and the drug culture along the District border. He has traveled to dozens of churches to enlist them in his fight against domestic violence and created a program to help victims leave abusive relationships.
"Even before I met Glenn Ivey, I liked his positions so much that I sent him a check," said Terry Lierman, a former congressional candidate who could be named Maryland Democratic Party chairman this week. "He has always done his job incredibly well."
But Ivey has held elective office for just two years, leading some Democrats to question whether it's the right time to jump to a statewide position.
"A politician can't make a move too soon or too late," said Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D), who spent eight years as prosecutor before seeking higher office. "The political road is paved with ambitious politicians who never made it because they moved too soon."
Former Baltimore mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, who has known Ivey for a decade, said he has warned Ivey about "the timing issues not always being under your control." Schmoke was considered a likely statewide candidate in the 1990s but instead sought a third term as mayor.
Also, Ivey is not well known outside Prince George's County, which could be critical in a statewide run for attorney general. Ivey said he would consider that post only if Democrat J. Joseph Curran Jr. chose not to pursue a sixth term. But in that case, several other high-profile contenders -- including Montgomery County State's Attorney Douglas F. Gansler (D) -- might enter the race.
Ivey, who has traveled extensively in his own jurisdiction, from community meetings in Brandywine to church services in Bowie, has also ventured outside the county for events two to three times a month, an aide said. Recent major events outside Prince George's included Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski's victory party in Baltimore on election night and a festival in Calvert County in August, where he campaigned on behalf of Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kerry. Last week, he traveled to Montgomery County to participate in a breakfast with minority business groups.
"Even though Glenn Ivey may not yet be known statewide, those in the political know know Glenn Ivey," Lierman said.
While others are speculating on his options, Ivey said he has not made a decision about his political future and is focusing on his job. He said he is working with the state legislature to address some of his concerns, such as stiffening the penalties for witness intimidation, domestic violence and gang activity.
He has not yet formed an exploratory committee, but his supporters are planning several major fundraisers in the coming months, including one in the District that will be partly financed by his former law firm, Preston Gates Ellis & Rouvelas Meeds. Last year, he raised $25,000. This year, he has tallied about the same amount hosting low-cost events, Ivey said.
"It's still too early for me to make any kind of final decision about what I'm going to run for, but the three things I want to do to keep my options open are, one, to continue to do a good job as state's attorney; two, to expand my contacts around the state; and three, to start raising money. I'm not sure what I'm going to do next, but whatever it is, all of those things are going to be in place."