BELTSVILLE -- Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler introduced Del. Jolene Ivey of Prince George's County as his running mate Monday, defying conventional wisdom about the need for geographical balance on a gubernatorial ticket.
In choosing the two-term lawmaker, Gansler -- who hails from Montgomery County -- bypassed Baltimore candidates to forge a partnership with a fellow resident of the Washington suburbs in his effort to secure the Democratic nomination to succeed term-limited Gov. Martin O'Malley.
The selection of Ivey, 52, counters Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown's selection of Howard County Executive Ken Ulman as his running mate. Brown lives in Prince George's. While Ulman comes from one of Baltimore's outer suburbs, Howard does fall within the metropolitan area and media market.
A third candidate in the Democratic contest, Montgomery County Del. Heather Mizeur, has yet to name a candidate for lieutenant governor.
"Jolene is going to be a partner as we take on the establishment, as we take on the status quo," Gansler said as he announced his choice at High Point High School, Ivey's alma mater. He planed a second appearance with Ivey later in the day in Baltimore.
Ivey, who like Brown is African-American, brings both gender and racial balance to Gansler's ticket -- a point she underscored in a statement released by the attorney general's campaign.
"I am proud to be the first African American woman to run for Lieutenant Governor, and when we win, to be the first Democratic African American woman to be lieutenant governor in our nation's history," Ivey said.
Still to be determined is whether Baltimore area Democrats will feel comfortable with a ticket in which neither candidate comes from the city or its suburbs. The last time a Democratic ticket won without one of its members coming from metropolitan Baltimore was in 1978, when Eastern Shoreman Harry R. Hughes teamed up with Samuel Bogley of Prince George's.
In choosing Ivey, Gansler has added a member of a prominent political family from Maryland's second-largest county after Montgomery. Ivey is married to Glenn Ivey, a former Prince George's state's attorney.
After the announcement, Gansler declined to take questions.