- The Washington Times - Friday, March 28, 2008


Maryland Rep. Albert R. Wynn said yesterday he will resign before his term ends to take over a D.C. law firm job — a move that comes after the eight-term congressman’s sound defeat in last month’s primary.

Mr. Wynn, 4th Congressional District Democrat, said he will leave in June because it is time to move into another phase of my life.

Activist and lawyer Donna Edwards beat Mr. Wynn by 22 percentage points in the Feb. 13 primary and is favored to win the November general election in the heavily Democrat district, which encompasses Prince George’s County and parts of Montgomery County.

Mr. Wynn’s term runs until January 2009. He expects a special election will be held to fill his seat and that Mrs. Edwards will win and take office as early as this summer to complete his term.

Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat, will decide whether to call a special election, which state officials say could cost as much as $1.5 million. Montgomery and Prince George’s are already scheduled to hold two special elections this year to fill vacant county council seats.

A special election will be expensive, said Linda H. Lamone, the Maryland elections administrator.

Under state law, Mr. O’Malley can choose to leave the seat vacant for the rest of the term.

Mr. Wynn said he hoped his early departure will allow Mrs. Edwards to gain seniority among the incoming freshmen members of Congress and to smooth her transition.

However, the winner of the Republican primary, Peter James, said the move seemed more like a transfer of power between Democrats. I see this as a ploy, since Donna Edwards has name recognition, to get her in there quickly, he said.

Mr. Wynn was elected to Congress in 1992 after serving in the Maryland General Assembly.

After easily winning early re-election bids, he stumbled in 2006, beating Mrs. Edwards by only three percentage points. Voters punished him for positions out of step with the party, including his initial support for the war in Iraq. Mr. Wynn later backtracked, opposing the war.

This election, Mrs. Edwards said Mr. Wynn was too cozy with big business groups that gave him money and deaf to the needs of his constituents. She attacked his vote in 2005 for a measure tightening bankruptcy rules, saying it hurt district residents now facing home foreclosures. Mr. Wynn said he will become a partner in the firm of Dickstein Shapiro.

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