Predicting Young's future


SINCE Larry Young's acquittal on bribery and tax evasion charges last month, speculation about the popular former state senator's future has become a kind of parlor game. Will he run for office again? Will he write a book? Will he continue as a talk show host on WOLB-AM?

We asked politicians and other citizens to weigh in on what they think Mr. Young's next career move will be.

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State Sen. Clarence Mitchell IV represents the 44th District, the seat formerly held by Mr. Young:

I suggest he enjoy his court victory. I don't know what his plans are -- we don't communicate -- but I wouldn't count out facing him in an election.

This seat [44th district] is the people's seat, and I'd feel pretty good [about being challenged for it by Mr. Young].

Gregg L. Bernstein, Mr. Young's defense attorney:

I know he is contemplating [a return to office]. People are advising him to do that, and he's giving it serious thought. But I think he needs to take some time. Emotionally, it has been a very, very difficult two years for him, a tremendous burden that he had to suffer through.

But I've noticed a sea change in his demeanor since the acquittal. He has a bounce in his step and a twinkle in his eye that was missing for two years.

I wouldn't advise him to just jump right into the political arena. I think he should catch his breath first and live awhile without the burden.

William A. Swisher, a former Baltimore state's attorney:

Stay private . . . stay private.

Keiffer J. Mitchell Jr., Baltimore City Council member from the 4th District:

He should stay in public life. He's an expert in health care, especially in the city. And he's an excellent talk-show host.

Thomas V. Overton, director, Baltimore Department of Recreation and Parks:

I think of him now as a radio personality, and all the folks I talk to heap praise on his show and the stands he takes on behalf of senior citizens and increasing their benefits.

Marvin Mandel, former governor of Maryland:

I think he should continue to do what he's doing [radio host] and make a real career out of it. He should give himself some time to think about whether he wants to go back into public life, which is much more difficult today than it was even 10 or 15 years ago.

Under existing conditions, no elected official can have a personal life anymore. You don't have to give up involvement with [public service after leaving office], but you get involved in different ways when you're not constantly in the limelight.

Janice E. Stevenson, director, Stevenson Psychological Associates in Columbia:

The first thing I would advise Larry would be to heal from this whole process. There would be a lot of forgiveness needed across the board: From his accusers and the people who disappointed him -- people he thought would support him and didn't. After the healing, I would say to pursue work that gives you great joy. He seems to enjoy providing service and being able to fix things at the level of public policy.

Bea Gaddy, homeless advocate and Democratic candidate for Baltimore City Council, 2nd District:

I'd tell him to run for office again -- go back to doing what he was doing. He was my only link in Annapolis, the only one telling me what other people were doing wrong. I trusted his judgment.

Michael Gibbons, director, Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum:

He should become a political lobbyist. Larry knows the game, he knows everybody, and he's been doing it a long time. He knows what to say and when to say it. Larry was [the museum's advocate as state senator] when we went to Annapolis looking for bond bills. We went down three times with Larry and came away with funding twice.

Rochelle "Rikki" Spector, Democratic City Council member from the 5th District:

I think his best pitch is staying on the radio. He can continue to influence the community and from there he could springboard into anything. People in my district are wondering if he can unseat young Mitchell [Clarence Mitchell IV], since it was a Mitchell [family] seat before Larry got it. I don't think anybody expected him to get off, but now that he's exonerated, everything is doable.

Stephen L. Miles, a local defense attorney:

If Larry is thinking of running again, I'd tell him to make sure he wants it because he'll be a landslide winner. If he wants it, he's going to get it.

Ramsey Flynn, former editor of Baltimore magazine:

He should become director of the Larry Young Retirement Home for Aging Prosecutors.

Interviews were conducted by Sun reporter Rafael Alvarez.

Pub Date: 10/07/99

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