Glendening, Aide Marry
First Lady Resigns $103,588 Government Post

By Daniel LeDuc
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 29, 2002; Page B01

Maryland Gov. Parris N. Glendening quietly married his deputy chief of staff over the weekend, and the couple is now honeymooning at an undisclosed location, his spokesman announced yesterday.

Glendening (D), 59, who divorced his wife of 24 years in November, married Jennifer E. Crawford on Friday. Crawford, 35, who over the past two years had become one of the most powerful and controversial people in his administration, is now first lady. Most recently, she was Glendening's top staff person in determining congressional redistricting.

After applying for a marriage license last Tuesday, Crawford resigned effective Friday, and the couple married in a brief civil ceremony at 4 that afternoon. The ceremony was conducted by Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Clerk Robert P. Duckworth in a first-floor room at Government House, the governor's official residence in Annapolis.

The governor had been criticized by Republicans for conducting a relationship with Crawford, whom he supervised and who was paid $103,588 while on the public payroll, with her salary increasing more than $30,000 over the last three years. Asked why she resigned, Glendening spokesman Michael Morrill said that now, "she is first lady."

State Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele congratulated the couple and said, "It's appropriate for her to resign. She's married to the governor, and she shouldn't be working for the state. It probably should have been done when they were dating."

At the Friday ceremony, which Duckworth said was attended by three or four other people, Crawford wore a simple, light-colored dress, and the governor wore a blue business suit.

"There was a welcome and an exchange of vows," Duckworth said in describing the 10-minute service. "Both of them seemed to be very happy with each other and anxious to move on with their family journey."

A second ceremony was held Saturday morning at the governor's mansion for the couple's immediate family. The governor, in black tie, exchanged vows with Crawford, who wore a strapless white wedding gown .

Prince George's County Circuit Court Judge Thomas P. Smith, a longtime friend of the governor's, wore his robes and officiated Saturday.

Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (D), who is the governor's choice to succeed him, was not invited to the wedding. A spokesman for Townsend said she had been "informed well before the wedding by the governor" about his engagement to Crawford.

Morrill said Glendening and Crawford paid the expenses associated with the wedding and their honeymoon travel.

Several of the governor's senior aides were informed of the marriage plans last week, and the remainder of his staff was told yesterday.

Those who work for the governor said they had noticed he had an especially upbeat demeanor the last several weeks. During a recent news conference, he declared: "I intend to enjoy the [current legislative] session. I intend to enjoy every moment of this year. You're going to see a happy governor."

Though Crawford now is officially Maryland's first lady, she is not expected to have any taxpayer-paid staff or to stake out any issues for advocacy. She will not take Glendening's name.

Glendening was divorced from his second wife, Frances Ann Glendening, on Nov. 19, two days before what would have been their 25th wedding anniversary. She declined to comment yesterday.

The Glendenings had been a very close political couple, and Frances Ann had been among his closest advisers. They have one son, Raymond, who is in college. They separated in July 2000.

Glendening and Crawford have been involved in a relationship since at least last spring, and the governor had been staying at her Annapolis home regularly.

Morrill said that upon returning from their honeymoon tomorrow, Glendening and Crawford would live in the governor's mansion.

Crawford, who grew up in Baltimore, joined Glendening's administration four months into his first term and was his special assistant and his liaison to the State Board of Public Works.

After leaving state government briefly to be deputy campaign manager for Glendening's 1998 reelection campaign, she was the governor's appointments secretary in charge of selections to state boards and commissions and patronage positions.

In June 2000, Glendening made Crawford one of his three deputy chiefs of staff and put her in charge of one of his highest priorities, his "smart growth" program to rein in suburban sprawl.

Crawford quickly became one of Glendening's top advisers on policy and politics. When their relationship became more than professional, her influence in the administration increased, with lobbyists and state officials saying she had great power but few willing to speak on the record about her for fearing of raising Glendening's ire.

Maryland state government has no policy governing relationships outside the workplace between supervisors and their employees. Stressing that she was speaking in general terms, Townsend has said she believes such a policy should be considered.

Steele also called for stricter rules. "There should be some policy about this, particularly at that level," he said.

Staff writer Ruben Castaneda contributed to this report.

© 2002 The Washington Post Company