By Courtney Cohn
Glenn Ivey enters his first term as a congressman after a landslide victory against Republican challenger Jeff Warner.
This was not his first time that Ivey, a Democrat, ran for the House. He ran in 2012 but dropped out before the primary due to fundraising issues. He tried again in 2016 but lost in the primary.
Ivey said he wanted to make a difference in so many communities and now his perseverance has been rewarded.
He will represent Maryland’s 4th District, a predominantly Black constituency, which contains parts of Prince George’s County and a sliver of Montgomery County.
“There are major challenges that are being addressed one way or another in Congress, and I certainly want to be part of trying to help address those problems and find positive ways to move the country forward,” Ivey said in a recent interview.
He will succeed Rep. Anthony Brown, who was elected Maryland’s first Black attorney general last week.
Ivey got to know many of his constituents as the state’s attorney for Prince George’s County. He served in that position for two terms from 2003 to 2011.
“We had some successful prosecutions that I think led us to have good overall feedback from the community,” Ivey said.
In that role, he prioritized issues such as reducing homicides and violent crime in general, domestic violence awareness and reading programs.
The Ivey name is a popular political brand in Prince George’s County. His wife, Jolene Ivey, serves on the county council and spent eight years in the House of Delegates. His son, Julian Ivey, serves in the state House.
Ivey was also the chairman of the Maryland Public Service Commission, the public utility regulator.
He said he hopes to be assigned to the House Judiciary Committee due to his extensive legal experience, including serving as the Democratic counsel to the Senate Whitewater Committee and working with former Rep. John Conyers Jr., when the Michigan Democrat was a member of the Judiciary Committee.
“I think the background is really there for Judiciary Committee-related matters that deal with the courts,” Ivey said.
Ivey, 61, also worked on Capitol Hill for the late Maryland Sen. Paul Sarbanes and for former Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota.
Going into his term, one of Ivey’s top priorities is protecting democracy and the right to vote. He said he is frustrated with politicians refusing to concede when they lose an election.
“I would call it the crybaby politics of election deniers,” Ivey said. “We want to get back to the days where if you lost, you help with the transition, so incoming officials can focus on the business of governing and getting the work done for the people.”
He is also passionate about enacting gun control legislation, especially to protect children in schools from mass shootings.
“I get that people want to protect their Second Amendment rights, but we’ve got to protect second graders as well,” Ivey said.
He said also aims to work on the top issue for many voters in this election: the economy. He wants to help address inflation but not raise interest rates so much that it will harm Americans.
“We don’t want to put the country into a recession,” Ivey said.
It is not officially known which party will win control of the House with votes still coming in from key states like Arizona and California, though Republicans are favored. The final tally will largely determine whether Ivey and his Democratic colleagues can move their policy agenda forward.
“Hopefully, we’ll win the majority, and we’ll be able to continue building on all of the things that got done in the last few years,” Ivey said.