Governor marries former aide in private ceremonies
By SARA MARSH, Staff Writer

Two months after divorcing his wife of nearly 25 years, Gov. Parris N. Glendening this weekend married his longtime aide in private ceremonies at the Governor's Mansion in Annapolis.

Mr. Glendening, 59, and his former deputy chief of staff for Smart Growth, Jennifer E. Crawford, 35, of Annapolis, were married in two ceremonies this weekend.

The first was a civil service performed about 4 p.m. Friday by County Clerk of the Court Robert P. Duckworth, and then again in a symbolic ceremony before a small group of immediate family members Saturday morning.

The Saturday service was performed by an unidentified Prince George's County judge at the mansion.

The governor and Ms. Crawford left following the wedding ceremonies for a short honeymoon. They will return to Annapolis Wednesday night, said Michael Morrill, a spokesman for Mr. Glendening.

The couple is reportedly honeymooning at an unspecified location in the United States.

The marriage is the first for Ms. Crawford and the third for Mr. Glendening, who has an adult son from his second marriage to former first lady Frances Hughes Glendening, Mr. Morrill said.

Ms. Crawford, who now carries the title of Maryland first lady, resigned a few weeks ago as one of the governor's deputy chiefs of staff. She will move into the Governor's Mansion when the couple returns from their honeymoon, Mr. Morrill said.

Ms. Crawford's last day was Friday. She will be in her office a few more days to clean out her office, Mr. Morrill said.

It is not immediately clear how large a role Ms. Crawford will choose to play as first lady. She will retain her own last name.

Maryland has no official office of first lady and no specific duties. Typically, the governor's wife is assigned a small staff to help her coordinate events and schedule speaking engagements. But no staff is expected to be assigned to Ms. Crawford.

Rumors have been circulating in Annapolis since the governor's divorce that he and Ms. Crawford would soon tie the knot. Even so, this weekend's ceremonies came as a surprise to many, including some of the governor's staff members.

"They wanted the ceremony to be private," Mr. Morrill said.

The governor apparently made a number of calls to people on Friday, informing them of his marriage. Mr. Morrill said he did not know who the governor called.

The couple had been planning the wedding ceremonies for at least two weeks. Mr. Morrill said yesterday that he did not know how many people attended the wedding services or who was invited. It also was not clear how long the couple has been engaged.

After two days of inquiries by The Capital, the governor's office this morning issued a brief, three-sentence statement saying only that the couple was married Saturday in a "small, private ceremony." The governor's son, Raymond, reportedly attended.

In a quirk of Maryland law judges cannot marry people. So anyone who wants to have a judge preside over a marriage service must first be married by the county Clerk of Court.

Ms. Crawford applied for a marriage license in person in Anne Arundel Circuit Court on Tuesday, Mr. Duckworth said. She spoke with Mr. Duckworth, asking him to perform a civil service for the couple at the mansion, he said.

Fewer than 10 people attended the small, Friday afternoon civil service, which was performed on the first floor about 4 p.m.

Ms. Crawford reportedly wore a cream-colored dress and the governor a business suit. A few family members watched the simple exchange of vows, which lasted less than 10 minutes.

The longer, more elaborate wedding service held Saturday morning reportedly included an exchange of rings.

Mr. Duckworth, a Crofton Republican, said the wedding was, like all the weddings he performs, an honor to conduct. However, he said he was surprised the wedding did not come to the attention of the media before the services.

"They did want to keep things quiet," he said.

The wedding came just over two months after Prince George's County Circuit Court Chief Administrative Judge William D. Missouri granted Mr. Glendening's petition for divorce on Nov. 19.

Since their separation, Mr. Glendening -- a Democrat in the last year of his second, four-year term -- has been living at the Governor's Mansion.

His relationship with Ms. Crawford was made public in August. Maryland has no written policies that prohibit a romantic relationship between an employee and supervisor.

Ms. Crawford, was one of three deputy chiefs of staff for Mr. Glendening. She was his top adviser on his hallmark "Smart Growth" anti-sprawl initiative and his chief aide on redrawing congressional districts.

Ms. Crawford joined the governor's staff in 1995 as a special assistant. She worked on his 1998 re-election campaign and became his appointment secretary after he began his second term. She was promoted to deputy chief of staff in June 2000.

Since 1998, she has received promotions and cost-of-living adjustments increasing her salary from $71,812 to $103,588.

She also has been part of the governor's domestic and international traveling party on several occasions since 1999.

Mr. Glendening is barred by state law from seeking re-election next year.

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Published January 28, 2002, The Capital, Annapolis, Md.
Copyright © 2002 The Capital, Annapolis, Md.