Doug Duncan: “Still a Stigma Attached to Mental Illness”

Former Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan is attempting a political comeback after almost eight years out of office.

In 2006, he withdrew from the governor’s race, citing clinical depression he fought for two years.

“I describe it as the two years I lived in hell," Duncan said on WAMU Friday.

Now successfully recovered, Duncan is running for his old job in the June primary. He is competing with incumbent Executive Ike Leggett and Council member Phil Andrews, saying the county needs better leadership.

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“We need Annapolis, we need the state of Maryland, to be a bigger partner with us,” he said.

He also said mental health issues, such as those involving the son of Virginia Sen. Creigh Deeds, who attacked his father before killing himself in November, and many others need far more public discussion.

“There still is a stigma attached to mental illness,” Duncan said. “I think more men in particular need to talk about depression. I think there's a real training issue that needs to take place. We don't want our jails to become de facto mental hospitals.”

Duncan said he's ready to lead the county again.

“It's great to be back, and I'm having a lot of fun,” he said. “I'm back in my element and I'm loving it.”

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