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Pr. Geo.'s Pols Head to Denver

Anne Bartlett

Much of political Prince George's is decamping for Denver this week and next, as the Democratic National Convention kicks off Monday.

Among the notables who will attend are County Executive Jack B. Johnson, who was selected to serve as a delegate for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, (N.Y.) after he endorsed her on the eve of the February primary in Maryland. That endorsement came even though he had agreed to let his name be listed as a supporter of Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.).

Johnson came full circle, however, and announced in May -- several weeks before Clinton bowed out of the race -- that he could no longer support her and would vote for Obama at the convention. Nevertheless, he remains, formally, a Clinton delegate.

Adding to the drama is that his delegate status means he might find himself seated near fellow Clinton delegate and former county executive Wayne K. Curry. The two men are rivals and have long been critical of each other.

Sure to enjoy herself at the convention will be U.S. Rep. Donna F. Edwards (Md.), who took office in June after a special election. She defeated eight-term incumbent Rep. Albert R. Wynn in the February primary. Edwards, who has long been active in liberal causes, has attended two conventions. This will be her first as an elected official and a delegate -- a super delegate, no less -- and she's sure to be greeted warmly by national activists who worked to get her elected.

Edwards said her mother and her son, who were active in her campaign, also will attend. She said that this is the first presidential election in which her son will be old enough to vote and that her mother still remembers drinking from segregated water fountains.
"With the history of this moment, I didn't want to let it pass," Edwards said.

She said she looks forward to using the convention to get revved up for the election.
"The entire environment, it's just like an electric charge," she said. "Everybody's excited, and people are in a really good mood."

State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey and his wife, Del. Jolene Ivey, will attend, the latter as an elected delegate for Obama, said the former's spokesman, Ramon V. Korionoff.

Korionoff said the state's attorney initially planned to stay home with his children while his wife attended but decided that the moment was too historic to be missed. Korionoff said Glenn Ivey was an early supporter of Obama and had been a classmate of the presidential hopeful's wife, Michelle, at Princeton University and Harvard Law School.

"After some reflection, he realized that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Korionoff said.

Among other prominent Democratic Prince Georgians who will be at the convention: Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown and Del. Carolyn J.B. Howard, both as Clinton delegates, as well as Sen. Nathaniel Exum, Del. Justin D. Ross and former state delegates Joan Pitkin and Rushern L. Baker III, all Obama delegates.

By Anne Bartlett  |  August 21, 2008; 12:26 PM ET
Categories:  At the 2008 Conventions , Prince George's County , Rosalind Helderman  
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