Duncan campaign confirms Simms as his running mate

Announcement speech is scheduled for tomorrow in Baltimore

May 02, 2006|By DAVID NITKIN | DAVID NITKIN,SUN REPORTER

The campaign of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Douglas M. Duncan confirmed yesterday the selection of former Baltimore prosecutor Stuart O. Simms as running mate, and scheduled an announcement speech for tomorrow at a Baltimore function hall.

Duncan campaign manager Scott Arceneaux sent an e-mail message to more than 10,000 supporters of the Montgomery County executive, saying Simms has agreed to join the ticket.

"Having served Maryland with distinction as Baltimore City State's Attorney for eight years and as the Secretary of Public Safety and [of] Juvenile Services under the Glendening administration, Stu has devoted his public service career to making our neighborhoods safer and our communities stronger," Arceneaux wrote in the message.

"As Secretary of Public Safety, Stu deftly managed one of the State government's largest and most complex agencies and he understands the importance of bringing people together to solve tough problems," Arceneaux wrote. "He has taken the tough jobs and succeeded."

Simms, 55, has been a private-practice attorney since the end of the Glendening administration. He did not return a telephone call for comment yesterday.

Duncan is running against Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley in the Democratic primary, with the winner expected to face Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., who is almost certain to seek re-election.

Late last year, O'Malley selected Del. Anthony G. Brown, the House majority whip from Prince George's County, as a lieutenant governor candidate.

Simms and Brown are African-American, as is Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele, a Republican running for U.S. Senate. Ehrlich will have to choose a new running mate by early July.

The selection of Simms has been known for several days, after Duncan supporters told The Sun and other media organizations last week that the ticket had been completed. But the campaign declined to formally acknowledge the choice until yesterday.

"Reaction has been extremely positive," said Jody Couser, a Duncan spokeswoman. "Stu has a lot of friends and fans around the state."

Duncan and Simms are scheduled to appear together for the first time at 10 a.m. at the Family Life Center & Elizabeth H. Adams Banquet & Meeting Hall on North Monroe Street, which is affiliated with New Shiloh Baptist Church.

They will then travel to Prince George's County for a similar speech, followed by visits to other parts of the state, Couser said.

O'Malley has led Duncan in most polls, but recent surveys show a competitive primary race.

A poll by Gonzales Research & Marketing Strategies released April 18 showed Duncan trailing O'Malley, 35 percent to 44 percent in a primary, with 21 percent undecided.

The survey of 423 likely primary voters had a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

david.nitkin@baltsun.com

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