- The Washington Times - Friday, June 23, 2006

Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan announced Thursday that he no longer is running for the Democratic nod in Maryland’s race for governor. “For over a year now, in the course of waging a vigorous and aggressive campaign, I’ve struggled with what has been recently diagnosed as depression.” Mr. Duncan said he will retain his county executive seat but will not seek re-election. His pending departure is the beginning of the end of decades of public service to Montgomery County, and it recasts the gubernatorial race.

Mr. Duncan, 50, was first elected to the Rockville City Council at age 27, and he served as the mayor of Rockville, the city of his birth, for three terms. He toyed with the idea of running for governor in 2002 but instead successfuly ran for re-election. Mr. Duncan drew speculation upon his gubernatorial candidacy when his campaign announced three weeks ago that it would be returning the $20,000 in campaign funds that Mr. Duncan had received in 1999 from companies with ties to lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

For the first time in three decades, Mr. Duncan’s name will not appear on a ballot. In fact, his withdrawal came one week before the filing deadline. But in the months during the run-up, he laid solid groundwork against fellow Democratic candidate Martin O’Malley, the mayor of Baltimore ? especially on crime, education and other quality-of-life issues.

After learning of Mr. Duncan’s exit, Gov. Bob Ehrlich said that Mr. Duncan is a “gentleman in the truest sense of the word. He embodies the personal decency and graciousness Marylanders deserve from their public servants.”

We endorse the governor’s remarks, and we wish Mr. Duncan well.

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