The race to succeed Rep. Donna F. Edwards in Congress in 2016 has drawn two Prince George’s County Democrats with strong name recognition who were on opposite sides of last year’s bitter gubernatorial primary.
Glenn F. Ivey (D), a former Prince George’s County state’s attorney, launched his campaign Wednesday.
And former lieutenant governor Anthony G. Brown — who suffered an embarrassing defeat in November to Republican Larry Hogan — will declare himself a candidate Thursday, according to two aides familiar with his plans.
Brown won the Democratic nomination for governor in a bruising three-way primary last June that included Ivey’s wife, Jolene Ivey, as the running mate to then-Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler.
But Brown ran a lackluster general election campaign and lost to Hogan by nearly 4 percentage points, despite an overwhelming advantage in party registration across the state.
Both Glenn Ivey and Brown, who was a state delegate before he became then-Gov. Martin O’Malley’s deputy, are well-known to voters in Maryland’s 4th Congressional District, which includes much of Prince George’s and a sliver of Anne Arundel County.
Edwards has represented the district since 2008. She is giving up her seat to run for the post being vacated by longtime Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D).
In an e-mail that aides said will be sent to supporters Thursday morning, Brown says it took “serious reflection, prayer and discussion” for him to decide whether “I believed in my heart that I still had something to give back to our community.”
Brown says the district was fortunate to be represented by Edwards and vowed to continue her legacy of “fighting for them every day.”
“I know this isn’t going to be easy,” the e-mail says, “but nothing worth fighting for ever is.”
In declaring his bid, Ivey — like Brown, a Harvard-educated lawyer — called on supporters to help him build a grass-roots campaign to send him “back in the ring and continue the fight to help people improve their lives and achieve their dreams.”
Ivey challenged Edwards for the House seat in 2012 but dropped out of the race before the filing date because of insufficient funding. In an interview Wednesday, he brushed off questions about his ability to raise enough money for a competitive race this time around.
“It’s an open seat, it’s obviously different than it had been before,” Ivey said. “I think I bring experience and a demonstrable history of success that will allow me to do just fine with donors.”
The vacant House seat is expected to attract additional candidates, possibly including members of the Prince George’s County Council and state lawmakers.
Brown garnered 84 percent of the vote in Prince George’s last November in an election that had relatively low turnout among Democrats. His support in Anne Arundel was weaker. He finished the election with considerable campaign debt.
Ivey, who was a popular prosecutor and community leader, earned more than 60 percent of the vote when he was elected state’s attorney in 2002. He ran unopposed four years later.
He brought the public and media into the state attorney’s office in a way few of his predecessors had, according to prosecutor and former state delegate Doyle Niemann.