Governor and wife expecting a baby

Couple's first child due in September

they're `very excited'

March 02, 2002|By David Nitkin | David Nitkin,SUN STAFF

Gov. Parris N. Glendening and his new wife, Jennifer E. Crawford, are expecting a baby in early September, the governor's office said last night.

"Both Jennifer and I are very excited," Glendening told the Associated Press in his only interview on the subject.

The announcement occurs just over a month after the wedding and is the latest in a recent series of milestones in the governor's life. On Nov. 19, he divorced his second wife, Frances Hughes Glendening, after a 16-month separation.

On Jan. 25, Glendening, 59, and Crawford, 35, his former deputy chief of staff, were wed in a civil ceremony inside Government House. Two weeks later, the governor entered Johns Hopkins Hospital to have a cancerous lesion removed from his scalp. Tests showed the cancer had not spread, and the prognosis for a full recovery is excellent.

"It's been an extraordinary month," Glendening told the AP. "It was a little scary," added Crawford, speaking of the surgery.

Glendening's communications director, Michael Morrill, said the governor and Crawford would not make themselves available for further interviews. "That's what we've decided," Morrill said. "They chose to do this interview once, and everybody has access to the Associated Press."

Crawford said she learned of her pregnancy several weeks ago, and has experienced some morning sickness. It is the first child for Crawford, who has not been married previously. Glendening has a son, Raymond, 22, from his second marriage.

State archivist Edward C. Papenfuse said he could not immediately recall if a sitting Maryland governor had become a father while in office. "I'm thinking of the 20th-century governors, and I can't think of any," Papenfuse said.

Crawford was a longtime aide to Glendening, working on his campaigns and rising through a series of jobs with increasing responsibilities. On the day of the wedding, she resigned from her state position, which paid $107,732 yearly.

Their relationship had been the source of speculation for more than a year, but the governor repeatedly refused to comment on his personal life and Crawford would not grant interviews.

Although Glendening aides said Crawford had considered seeking another job or perhaps returning to school, those plans have changed. "I think I'll be focusing a lot on my family, getting ready for the baby and taking care of my husband," she said.

Glendening is prevented from seeking a third term and will leave office in January. "I'm in a good position to put a lot of time into parenting," he said.

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