- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 30, 2001

Maryland's Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend has said neither yes nor no. Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley has not said no either. His official response is "I am committed to doing all I can to make Baltimore City the best city in America." The question is who will run for governor in 2002.
Parris Glendening cannot run. State law forbids the two-term Democrat from succeeding himself. Mrs. Townsend, his two-term lieutenant, is the presumptive Democratic front-runner. If a recent survey is any indication, he and she have political futures. Mr. Glendening said he intends to have "at least one more major career" and is a possible candidate in the 2004 U.S. Senate seat held by Barbara Mikulski
According to a poll by Potomac Survey Research, 56 percent of Marylanders approve of the job Mr. Glendening is doing. For now, Mr. Glendening says he wants to focus on a better Maryland and his gubernatorial legacy and that means keeping educational and environmental issues on the minds of Marylanders two issues that also, by the way, are top priorities of Mrs. Townsend.
The same poll shows Mr. O'Malley in good standing as well. Statewide, he won a 51 percent favorability rating, and 88 percent of those polled had an overall favorable impression of Mr. O'Malley, whose term expires in 2004. Only 3 percent of respondents gave Mr. O'Malley a negative rating.
However, the poll was taken before Marylanders heard Mr. O'Malley's profane comments toward another of Baltimore's elected officials, Patricia Jessamy. Mr. O'Malley is upset because Ms. Jessamy decided not to prosecute a city officer accused of falsely charging a man with drug possession. She dropped the charges after evidence was stolen from the police department's internal affairs office. In a statement issued Friday, Ms. Jessamy said she had "an ethical responsibility to dismiss the charges."
Mr. O'Malley called her lazy. "She doesn't even have the … guts to get off her … and go in and try this case, and I'm tired of it," Mr. O'Malley said. "If she doesn't have respect for the police, if she doesn't have respect for the people of this city, maybe she should get the hell out and let somebody else in who's not afraid to do the … job."
Whether Mr. O'Malley's political stock depreciates because of his peppery comments remains to be seen. What is certain is that in this Democrat-leaning state, Republicans will need to find a strong challenger no matter who the Democratic candidate is.


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