Former Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey has filed papers to challenge Rep. Donna Edwards for her seat in Maryland’s Fourth Congressional District.

Ivey, a popular state’s attorney, was part of the crime fighting force that helped Prince George’s County to a record drop in the crime rate.

Ivey has been working as a trial lawyer for a Washington, D.C.-based firm since his term limit expired in 2010. He briefly considered challenging Edwards at the time, but tepid support from the state’s Democratic Party changed his mind.

This time, his prospects are different because congressional boundaries in the state have been changed. The Fourth Congressional District lost all its territory in Montgomery County, while gaining more in Prince George’s County and gaining new territory in Anne Arundel.

Edwards was so upset with the development that she created her own map, in which the congressional representative in District 4 would continue to serve Montgomery County.

“Without the aid of the state’s tools and expertise, we have managed to produce a map that provides for minority representation in the minority-majority Montgomery County, consolidates a growing and heavily Asian population alongside their neighbors in the North Potomac area of Montgomery County, links African American populations in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, increases the African American population of Districts 4 and 5, respects the common interests of Latino/Hispanic communities along the common border of Montgomery and Prince George’s counties…,” she said in a statement.

Losing that territory in Montgomery County angered Edwards who was one of the few Democrats and the only congressional Democrat who objected to it.

Further, Ivey likely will get a substantial amount of support in Prince George’s. While Edwards enjoyed strong support among the multicultural communities in Montgomery County, Ivey may be in line to enjoy that support in Prince George’s.

Ivey’s wife, Jolene is the Maryland delegate in District 47, which serves a large Latino population and she works well with State Sen. Victor Ramirez. In addition to that, Glenn Ivey is best friends with Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker.

Despite that, Edwards, who defeated longtime Rep. Albert Wynn for her seat in 2008, has made a name for herself in Congress as one of the leading progressive voices in the House and a champion for the little guy.

“The people of the fourth Congressional District did not elect me to be a go-along to get-along and to just take up space in Congress,” she said. “We have real challenges in front of us.

“We have a lot of communities and families that are really struggling,” Edwards continued. “They’re struggling to put food on the table, struggling to educate their children and struggling to create greater opportunities for themselves and their families. So as a member of Congress, if I don’t fight for them, who will do that?”

Suitland resident Ian Garner and Forest Heights resident George McDermott have also filed papers with the state board of elections.


George Barnette

Special to the AFRO