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Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly attributed a quote from Glenn Ivey to Donna Edwards. We regret the error.
With early voting set to begin Thursday, July 7 in Maryland, one of the state’s most competitive races features two Black attorneys whose campaigns mirror each other such with their vow to protect abortion rights, livable wages and relocate the FBI headquarters from D.C. to Prince George’s County.
The primary election winner featuring the top two Democrats seeking the 4th Congressional District seat, former Rep. Donna Edwards and Glenn Ivey, will more than likely to succeed in a highly-Democratic-voter rich area that features portions of Prince George’s and a sliver of Montgomery County.
The district represents the highest population of Black residents estimated at 426,571
But in recent weeks, there’s been a less than positive tone coming through television ads from a group called United Democracy Project (UDP). It asserts Edwards’ constituent services were less than adequate during her time in Congress between 2008 and when she left office in January 2017.
“It is anything but democratic,” Edwards, who asserts millions of dollars have been spent in this race to “attack” her credibility, said in an interview Tuesday, July 5.
“Mr. Ivey has not denied at all that he is accepting and wants the help from this group,” she said. “This is outrageous that the kind of money that was used to elect [former President] Donald Trump is being spent on behalf of Glenn Ivey in this race.”
“I think it’s clearly relevant because it goes directly to what the key job for a member of Congress is which is to help your constituents, especially the ones who are having problems getting federal benefits they deserve from the government,” he said. “These aren’t my ads. I think they are fair and accurate.”
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) launched UDP as a super political action committee, known as a Super PAC, that can spend millions of dollars to support candidates but not directly toward specific campaigns.
AIPAC highlights Ivey on top of its “featured candidates” page the group supports in elected races on Capitol Hill. Several Republicans are also noted such as Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the number two Republican in the House and who voted to overturn the 2020 election.
Meanwhile, Edwards has also received major endorsements from various groups such as J Street, a liberal pro-Israel group that denounced the AIPAC ads.
Edwards released a 30-second video last week that includes House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who said, “Donna Edwards was one of the most effective members in Congress.”
Through the redistricting process this year, the 4th Congressional District now houses the University of Maryland in College Park, Hyattsville and Greenbelt. Portions of Anne Arundel County are now in the neighboring 5th Congressional District overseen by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland).
The seat became open after Rep. Anthony Brown chose not to seek reelection and run for Maryland attorney general.
Seven other Democrats seek the seat including: former Del. Angela Angel, who sent various text messages summarizing her campaign as abortion access advocate, a mother of five children and a domestic violence survivor.
The other Democrats on the ballot: Tammy Allison, James Levi Curtis, Jr., Matthew Fogg, Gregory Holmes, Robert McGhee and Kim A. Shelton.
Three Republicans feature Eric Loeb, George McDermott and Jeff Warner.
But most eyes remain on Edwards and Ivey.
Although Ivey’s familiar with Capitol Hill more than 30 years ago working as a federal prosecutor with the late Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D-Maryland) and former Sen. Tom Daschel (D-South Dakota), he’s known locally as the former Prince George’s County state’s attorney elected in 2002.
During his time as the county’s top prosecutor, Ivey touts his work in promoting and establishing crime intervention and community-outreach programs and services for underserved children.
Ivey, 61, ran for Congress around 2012 but dropped out of the race when Edwards sought reelection.
He ran again four years later, losing to Brown by only 8,700 votes. Since then, he’s been in private practice and opened the firm of Ivey & Levetown in Greenbelt in 2020.
He announced last year to try a third time, thanks to the support of his wife, Jolene, who serves on County Council. Their son, Del. Julian Ivey, represents District 47A which includes the town of Cheverly.
Glenn Ivey also has support from a long-time friend and colleague.
“I want somebody on Capitol Hill who’s respected on both sides of the aisle – not just on the House side, but [also] on the Senate side,” said former Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III during a press conference Thursday, June 30. “I am here to lend all of my support . . . and to tell everyone . . . this is the person that we need in this critical time that we face.”
Edwards, 64, elected in 2008 representing the 4th Congressional District, remains the first and only Black woman elected to represent Maryland’s federal delegation.
The former congresswoman became diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2016 while campaigning for the U.S. Senate against current Sen. Chris Van Hollen, who won to replace Barbara Mikulski after her retirement in 2017.
No woman from Maryland has been elected to Congress since.
A main staple for Edwards, if elected, is she would maintain seniority with nearly 10 years on Capitol Hill that includes her work on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. She advocated for federal agencies such as the FBI to relocate to Prince George’s when she noticed “the inequity” of those moving to other jurisdictions in the D.C. region.
The U.S. General Service Administration expects to make a decision in the fall whether to relocate the FBI headquarters to Springfield, Virginia, or one of two locations in Prince Georges: at the former Landover Mall site or near the Greenbelt Metro station.
“As we have been advocating for the FBI, I am advocating for the FBI to come to the city of Greenbelt,” said Del. Nicole Williams (D-District 22) of Greenbelt. “I want to make sure we have a strong voice in advocating for that and I believe she will do that. Congresswoman Edwards is a strong, progressive leader and the champion that we need.”
As a current candidate myself as a Republican party having ran against Don Edwards, I would urge all citizens of the 4th congressional district not to vote for Don Edwards under any circumstances as she has failed the community. This state and the nation. Our nation as a whole. The same goes for Anthony Brown and his attempt to become Atty. Gen. These 2 candidates did not respect their oath of office, did not respect our Constitution, and did not respect the constituents who put them into office. See secretJustice.com as affirmative proof as the candidates are looking out for themselves and not our Nations Best Interest . George McDermott
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