McLendon says she'll run for county state's attorney

March 02, 1994|By Alan J. Craver | Alan J. Craver,Sun Staff Writer

A former police officer and prosecutor announced her candidacy for Howard County state's attorney yesterday, promising to bring the office to a new high in visibility and accountability.

Republican Marna Lynn McLendon of Ellicott City announced her candidacy outside the Howard Police Department before about 40 supporters, including County Executive Charles I. Ecker and Police Chief James Robey.

Ms. McLendon is the third candidate to announce a campaign to succeed State's Attorney William Hymes, who is not seeking re-election after four four-year terms.

If elected, the 42-year-old lawyer and businesswoman promises to transform the state's attorney's office into a leader in the fight against crime.

"I have a breadth of experience to bring to an office that needs change," Ms. McLendon said. "That office has just been so invisible. People don't have a sense of who they are and what they do."

Ms. McLendon said she wants the state's attorney to work with police, citizens and parole, probation and prison officials to establish specific guidelines for prosecuting different types of crime.

The candidate said the office also should work closely with victims, develop guidelines to prevent reliance on plea agreements and target potential repeat offenders.

She said the state's attorney also should publish reports detailing statistics on the outcome of its cases so the public can monitor the office's work.

Ms. McLendon said the office would undergo many administrative changes if she is elected, but she noted that she wants to work with the prosecutors already there.

"I really believe there is a lot of strengths and talent in that office," she said.

Ms. McLendon ran for state's attorney in 1986, but lost to Mr. Hymes. She switched to the Democratic Party in 1988, hoping to get a judgeship. She then went back to the GOP last November.

She said that she does not believe her candidacy will be harmed by changing political parties, explaining that the state's attorney's position should "transcend" party lines.

Ms. McLendon worked as a county patrol officer from 1974 to 1978. She continued to work as an adviser to the department, through a position with the county Office of Law.

After getting a law degree from the University of Maryland, Ms. McLendon was a prosecutor in Baltimore County from 1978 to 1980. She worked as a prosecutor in the Howard County state's attorney's office from 1980 to 1984.

Ms. McLendon worked as a private attorney from 1984 to 1988 before joining the county's Office of Law as a senior assistant solicitor, a position from which she resigned on Friday.

The candidate and her husband, Keith McLendon, opened Cappuccino Books & Cafe at the Normandy Shopping Center in Ellicott City last October.

Ms. McLendon joins Ellicott City lawyer Joseph Fleischmann II, 50, in the race for the Republican nomination in September's primary election. This is the third time Mr. Fleischmann has run for state's attorney.

Michael Allen Weal, a 46-year-old Ellicott City resident, is the only Democrat to file for the job. He is chief of the District Court division of the state's attorney's office.

The deadline for filing candidacy notices with the elections office is July 5, 1994.

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