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An Early, Crowded Field for Pr. George's County Exec Race

With 2010 fast-approaching, it seems like as good a time as any to take a look at the probable field for the upcoming race for Prince George's County Executive.

With term-limited County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D) on his way out next year, the open seat has spawned a predictably large group of candidates. Some have announced their intentions outright, others have simply sent signals bright enough to warn an approaching ship.

In the latter category, former State Del. Rushern L. Baker III -- whose web site features a banner reading "Vote Rushern Baker 2010 For Prince George's County Executive" -- says he has not "officially announced" yet, but called his candidacy "an open secret."

Baker, who narrowly lost to Johnson in the 2006 Democratic primary -- the only county exec election that typically matters in blue Prince George's -- faces a potential challenge from his friend and neighbor, State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey. If both men ran, they would likely be tapping the same sources of support, which could mean mutually assured destruction at the ballot box.

Ivey's spokesman, Ramon Korionoff, said his boss is "seriously considering running for county executive," and will weigh the potential dynamic of a race against Baker before making the call. However, Korionoff emphasized that Ivey is still focused on his duties as the county's chief prosecutor, and will "first and foremost" consider the needs of his family, the community and his "constituency at large" before deciding.

County Council Member Samuel H. Dean (D-Mitchellville) has officially thrown his hat in the ring, though his candidacy has been presumed for some time. In a brief e-mail last week, Dean's wife and campaign manager, Donna, expounded on the reasons for the bid: "For those of you who may not have heard, based on requests and encouragement by others, but more importantly followed by extended prayer for Divine Guidance and our belief that this undertaking is the next step in God's purpose for our lives, Sam (we) has made the decision to run to become the next County Executive."

County Sheriff Michael Jackson is rumored to be weighing a run, but his spokesman, Sgt. Mario Ellis, shed little light on Jackson' intentions Monday, saying: "He hasn't announced for anything, I'm not sure what he's considering."

Other floated names include County Council Member Tony Knotts (D-Temple Hills), and State Sen. C. Anthony Muse (D-Prince George's), neither of whom immediately returned calls for comment Monday. Knotts will get a chance to glad hand with his base Sunday when he hosts his eighth annual "District 8 Day" at Rosecroft Raceway, a community event for constituents.

-- Jonathan Mummolo

By Jonathan Mummolo  |  August 10, 2009; 5:00 PM ET
Categories:  Jonathan Mummolo , Prince George's County  
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