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  •   Confident Curry Seeks 2nd Term

    By Jackie Spinner
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Thursday, June 18, 1998; Page D05

    About 1,500 of his supporters listened last night as Prince George's County Executive Wayne K. Curry (D) made official his bid for reelection in a campaign run that appears to face fewer hurdles than those he surmounted as a political newcomer in a tight 1994 race.

    This time around, Curry has the advantage of being a popular incumbent. When asked yesterday about his lone Republican competitor, Curry responded: "Who? I don't have any competition."

    Flanked by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Eileen M. Rehrmann (although Curry has not yet endorsed anyone in the governor's race), Curry told the crowd that gathered for a fund-raising barbecue in Mitchellville that Prince George's County has flourished and prospered under his leadership. If reelected, Curry said, he will focus during his second term on education, economic development and further reductions in crime.

    He also said he intends to explore the accountability of two bi-county agencies, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission and the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, which state law requires be funded partly by Prince George's.

    Although he made no formal announcement until yesterday, Curry, the first African American elected to lead a Washington area suburb, has sounded like a candidate for months.

    At speeches, grand openings and announcements, he has referred to his successes as "historic," and has called on audiences to remember who brought the county budget in line, who brought them the Washington Redskins and Jack Kent Cooke Stadium and who helped negotiate a deal to end 25 years of court-ordered school busing.

    His advisers are careful to say that victory is no sure thing. But with a war chest close to $1 million, no big headline-grabbing scandals and a robust economy to show for his first term, the 47-year-old millionaire lawyer sounds as confident as he can be. So do his supporters.

    "He has been a superb county executive," said Peter Krauser, chairman of the Maryland Democratic Party. "Frankly, he is on his way to being reelected to acclamation."

    Tax lawyer Randy McRae, a 38-year-old Republican, is Curry's only announced opponent so far. Candidates have until July 6 to file for the September primaries. The general election is Nov. 3.

    McRae has accused Curry of not doing enough to improve education, reduce crime or cut income taxes. In 1994, Curry defeated then-state Sen. Beatrice P. Tignor and then-County Council member Sue V. Mills for the Democratic nomination. He went on to trounce Republican Robert B. Ostrom in the general election.

    © Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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