Attorney general candidate talks about his priorities

May 19, 2006|by PEPPER BALLARD


Montgomery County State's Attorney Douglas F. Gansler told a group gathered Thursday at Washington County Courthouse about plans for fighting crime and cleaning up state water that he wants implemented if he is elected as Maryland Attorney General.

Gansler, 43, a Democrat, announced his bid for Maryland Attorney General on Monday in Rockville, but he has not officially filed for the office.

Incumbent Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr., 74, a Democrat who served as the state's attorney general for 20 years, has said he will not seek re-election.


Frederick County State's Attorney Scott Rolle, a Republican, has announced his intention to run for attorney general.

As part of a tour through Allegany, Washington, Frederick and Howard counties Thursday, Gansler told the crowd of supporters, "I run humbly in (Curran's) legacy."

Gansler was elected Montgomery County State's Attorney in 1998 after serving six years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. He said he implemented a community-based prosecution program in Montgomery County, in which the office's prosecutors are assigned to different parts of the county. He said he would like to see the program implemented statewide.

Gansler also said, "I want to clean up the Chesapeake Bay." He said he would make sure the Clean Water Act is enforced.

If elected, Gansler said he would work closely with state's attorneys around the state and work to ensure funding to combat sexual predators and those who prey on senior citizens.

Maryland Del. John Donoghue, D-Washington, said during the announcement that Gansler has "impeccable credentials," including his work leading "us through a horrific time in the state of Maryland when we had the sniper attacks."

Gansler said after the speech that he considers himself a moderate Democrat and Washington County "is a county I expect to win."

Gansler said he wants to "make sure growth issues are controlled" in Washington County and that police have the resources to combat gangs and the drug methamphetamine.

Gansler was accompanied by his wife, Laura Leedy Gansler, an attorney who co-wrote "Class Action," the basis for the film "North Country," which is about a landmark sexual harassment class-action suit.

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