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Commentary Election 2022

Opinion: Former Gov. Glendening Backs Katie Curran O’Malley for Attorney General

Retired Judge Katie Curran O’Malley, a Democratic candidate for attorney general. Screenshot of campaign announcement video.

By Parris N. Glendening

The writer, a Democrat, was the 59th governor of Maryland.

Climate change, the COVID pandemic, growing inequities and the demands for social justice make these challenging times for America and for Maryland. Now more than ever we need experienced leadership in our top state officials. We have been fortunate to have that leadership from Attorney General Brian Frosh.

That is why I am supporting Judge Katie Curran O’Malley to be our next attorney general. She is the only candidate in this race that is ready to do the job from day one. As a former county executive and a governor, I worked with the attorneys general frequently. I stress how vital it is that our next attorney general has a thorough understanding of how the law can help, and at times hurt, everyday Marylanders. I am convinced that Judge O’Malley has that understanding because I know about her 30 years of service to the people of Maryland.

Judge O’Malley is the only candidate in the race who has won justice for victims in our state’s court of law. Two decades ago, I interviewed then assistant state’s attorney O’Malley. Katie’s reputation as a no nonsense, fierce advocate for victims preceded her. The woman I met possessed a deeply committed sense of justice, and a track record of getting results for everyday Marylanders in the courtroom.

Former Maryland Gov. Parris N. Glendening. Maryland State Archives photo.

In her role as an assistant state’s attorney, Katie helped navigate vulnerable women and children through some of the darkest moments one can imagine. Not only did Katie take her job seriously, but also, she served as a lifeline for those victims during some of the most uncertain times of their lives. Her expertise on domestic violence, and knowledge of how it affects the most vulnerable Marylanders, made appointing her to the Baltimore City District Court an easy decision.

Over the next 20 years, Judge O’Malley built a reputation as a tough but fair arbiter of justice for the people of Baltimore City and Maryland. During these two decades, Judge O’Malley heard hundreds of cases, hearing just about every type of dispute you can imagine. At the same time, she trained her fellow judges on how to best protect victims of domestic violence.

Judge O’Malley continued to help the most vulnerable off the bench as well. She volunteered with the truancy court program at the University of Baltimore School of Law. This entailed Judge O’Malley working with families and finding ways to get kids back in school, often connecting them to needed social and support services. Along with these commitments, Judge O’Malley joined international delegations to stress the importance of protective measures for victims of intimate partner violence.

I know that Judge O’Malley will use those same skills she learned from decades in the courtroom and put them to work protecting all Marylanders, no matter the issue. For example, since leaving the Office of Governor I have focused on the very real dangers of climate change, and on environmental protection, especially of the Chesapeake Bay. I know how big polluters too often get away with disproportionately hurting communities of color. Katie O’Malley’s up close and personal view of how the law can protect our environment, all of our communities and, indeed, our planet is exactly what we need at this critical moment. It’s not just about experience, it’s about her values and grit.

Katie is an extremely qualified candidate. I know that she will wake up every day with an unmatched determination to fight and win justice for all Marylanders. I knew that when I appointed her to the bench 20 years ago! I know it now! She will be a superb attorney general for all Marylanders.



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Opinion: Former Gov. Glendening Backs Katie Curran O’Malley for Attorney General