The Washington Times

Maryland's Curran retiring
Published May 9, 2006
BALTIMORE (AP) -- Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. will retire this year after 20 years as the state's top lawyer, ending nearly half a century in public office.
"I don't want it said maybe I stayed around too long," Mr. Curran said yesterday in a telephone interview with the Associated Press. "I thought since we've got a great office and I've had a wonderful time serving in government, why not leave while I'm still at the top of my game?"

"I have a chance to do more things with my grandchildren, more things with my wife," he said.

Mr. Curran said he plans to do some writing about the changes he saw during his career and maybe even return to practicing law.

Mr. Curran, who was first elected attorney general in 1986, is a member of one of the state's prominent Democratic families, which includes his son-in-law, Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley, who is seeking the party's nomination for governor.

Under an O'Malley administration, Mr. Curran's independence might have been called into question, especially in internal disagreements or disputes with the General Assembly.

In his role, Mr. Curran oversees nearly 400 state lawyers who provide legal advice and representation to state agencies.

The 74-year-old was elected to the House of Delegates in 1958 and served as lieutenant governor under Gov. Harry Hughes. Mr. Curran made an unsuccessful bid for Congress in 1968, calling for the withdrawal of troops from Vietnam.

He became a gun control advocate after a 1976 shooting at City Hall in which his father, a city council member, had a heart attack and later died.
Mr. Curran has held the post of attorney general longer than anyone else and faced little opposition in recent elections.
His potential successors, Montgomery County State's Attorney Douglas F. Gansler and Council member Tom Perez, both Democrats, and Frederick County State's Attorney Scott Rolle, a Republican, have been laying the groundwork for campaigns while waiting for him to decide.
Mr. Curran said he has no plans to endorse a successor.
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