The wife of Maryland State Sen. Ulysses S. Currie, who represents the 25th district of Maryland that is located in Prince George’s County, is reportedly acting as her husband’s constant aide as he performs his duties in Annapolis.
The Washington Post reported in its Feb. 12 editions that Currie has been accompanied by his wife, Shirley A. Gravely-Currie since the start of the Senate session on Jan. 10. Currie is 80-years-old and has served in the Maryland General Assembly as a member of the House of Delegates (1987-1995) and the Senate (1995-present).
Ulysses S. Currie has served in the Maryland General Assembly since 1987. (Courtesy Photo)
He has risen to become chairman of one of the most powerful committees in the Senate, Budget and Taxation, and served in that capacity from 2002-2010. During that time, it was rumored that he was one of the successors to Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller (D-District 27), if Miller retired.
However, Currie became embroiled in a bribery scandal involving his work as a consultant to Shopper’s Food & Pharmacy in 2008 and was indicted by a federal grand jury on Sept. 10, 2010. He beat the charges on Nov. 8, 2011 but was censured by the Senate in 2012 and was forced to give up the Budget and Taxation chairmanship.
On Nov. 4, 2016, Currie resigned from the Senate “citing health reasons” but took back the resignation when it became clear to many political observers that his wife didn’t have the votes from the Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee to get the office. Currie will not run for re-election this year and among the candidates who want to take his place are former delegate Melody Griffith and Del. Angela Angel.
It’s not clear whether Currie’s wife is interested in the position. Calls made to Currie’s office on the matter weren’t returned by AFRO press time.
Maryland Del. Darryl Barnes (D-District 25) was interested in running for Currie’s seat but told the AFRO he wants to stay in the House.
“I am running for re-election,” he said. Barnes said he doesn’t know of any situation where a senator or any legislator’s spouse accompanies them to the floor or committee meetings but he doesn’t see anything wrong with it.
Ken Roberson also lives in District 25 and is a member of the Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee. Roberson told the AFRO that it is his understanding that the senator’s health is declining and that is unfortunate.
“I hate to see him go through that,” Roberson, who is running for delegate, said. “I am glad that she is there for him.
“However, it is so unfortunate that we as Black people put our career before our personal lives.
“He is seen as not fully performing the job and he and his wife are trying to keep up a legacy.”
Roberson said “his leadership is lacking because he is not fully ‘there’.”
The primary for the District 25 Senate seat is June 26 and the general election is Nov. 6. The winner of the Democratic primary is widely expected to win in November because District 25 has a roughly 90 percent Democratic registration.