Prince George's County State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey, ending months of speculation, announced yesterday that he will not join the long list of politicians seeking to replace Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. (D) or become a candidate for lieutenant governor.
Instead, he will run for a second term as the county's top prosecutor.
"I've decided to withdraw my name from consideration for attorney general or lieutenant governor," Ivey said yesterday in front of the county courthouse. "It's been real flattering that my name has been considered for both of these positions."
Ivey, elected in 2002, said yesterday that it was best to end speculation, which had become a distraction for his staff. Now, he said, his office can focus on working to "take back [Prince George's] from the scourge of crime."
Ivey, 43, considered one of the rising stars in state politics, has been mentioned as a possible running mate for Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley (D) or Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan (D). After Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes (D-Md.) announced his retirement earlier this year, Ivey's name briefly surfaced as a possible candidate.
"I'm one of many who are disappointed," said Dan Rupli, a friend and supporter of Ivey's. "There is no doubt in my mind that sometime in his career he'll run for statewide office."
Since Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) won election in 2002, Maryland Democrats have been working to take back the governor's mansion. Many black Democrats have argued that Ehrlich's defeat of Kathleen Kennedy Townsend was in large part a result of the party's unwillingness to include an African American on the statewide ticket.
Ivey's experience and background, which includes a Harvard University law degree and work as chief counsel to former U.S. Senate majority leader Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.), placed him at the top of most Democrats' lists.
Ivey had previously said he would not run for attorney general if Curran decided to seek reelection. Curran has not formally announced his decision, but many Democrats, including Montgomery County State's Attorney Douglas F. Gansler, Montgomery County Council President Tom Perez (Silver Spring), and House of Delegates Majority Whip Anthony G. Brown (Prince George's), have expressed interest.
Some state Democrats said Ivey wanted assurances that he would receive party support if Curran retired and Ivey decided to run. Others said Ivey questioned whether the post of lieutenant governor would provide the springboard he would need to seek higher office.
Ivey denied seeking party support before making a bid. But he said it is one of many factors, including grass-roots support, name recognition and money, that go into any consideration of a statewide run.