Prince George's State's Attorney Arthur (Bud) Marshall Jr., the county's chief prosecutor for 24 years, said yesterday he has rejected a proposal from County Executive Parris Glendening to withdraw from the state's attorney's race this year and to run instead for a Circuit Court judgeship.
The three-pronged deal, as described yesterday by Marshall and Glendening, would have had Marshall run for the seat currently held by Circuit Court Judge James H. Taylor, who is unopposed for reelection. As part of the arrangement, Marshall and Glendening said, Taylor would withdraw from the judicial race and would take a newly created position in Glendening's office.
The moves would leave Alex Williams, whom Glendening supports and who is the first black candidate to run for a countywide office, as the only Democrat running for state's attorney.
Marshall said he told Taylor earlier this week that he was not interested in the arrangement. "I'm running for state's attorney," he said.
Marshall's comments yesterday contradict statements he made last week that are published in some editions of today's Maryland Weekly. In that story about the state's attorney's race, Marshall said he had heard talk about an offer involving his withdrawal from the race but had not been approached by anyone. However, Marshall said in the interview for the weekly story, that he wasn't interested in dropping out of the state's attorney's race.
Glendening said yesterday that neither Marshall nor Taylor had declined the offer. Taylor could not be reached for comment.
The county executive said the arrangement would produce a strong and diverse local ticket that would include the seven incumbent state senators and himself. Glendening said he met with six of the seven senators yesterday and they agreed to endorse each other. But they could not agree on the state's attorney's race, he said, or the governor's and U.S. Senate races.
"I believe it would be to everyone's benefit" for such an arrangement to develop, Glendening said. "I hope that something like it does work out."
Glendening said it would provide an opportunity to open the political process to the county's growing black population, which helped the Rev. Jesse Jackson capture a plurality of the county's vote in the 1984 Democratic presidential primary.
Marshall said he came up with his own scenario to get a Circuit Court judgeship, a position for which he ran unsuccessfully two years ago. Marshall told Taylor on Monday that he would withdraw from the state's attorney's race if Taylor -- one of two black Circuit Court judges and the county's first black prosecutor -- wanted to be state's attorney.
"If it's just a matter of having someone who is black in the office," Marshall said, "why not Jim Taylor?"
Marshall said Taylor has not responded to his idea.
Williams, a former law clerk for Taylor and a former prosecutor in Marshall's office, said that he had heard rumors about Glendening's offer to Marshall but first heard details from the media yesterday. "It doesn't matter what comes of it," he said. "I'm in this race to stay.