Shortly after Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks formally declared her candidacy for county executive Monday, she spoke about several priorities a leader must have: character, integrity and a strong work ethic.
Those qualities were instilled in her by her great-grandmother, Alsobrooks said, and she plans to utilize them in her bid for the Democratic nomination in next year’s primary election.
“All of the values that I learned in Prince George’s County is the reason why I’m running for county executive, and that’s what I’ll focus on if elected,” she said Monday while standing in front of her parents’ Camp Springs home. “I know Prince Georgians. I have worked with you. I have worshipped with you and I have even grieved with you.”
Alsobrooks, 46, will face longtime state Sen. C. Anthony Muse (District 26) in the Democratic primary, and possibly former Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Maryland), who is reportedly mulling a run.
The current county executive, Rushern L. Baker III, will vacate the seat when his term expires next year to run for Maryland governor.
Before Alsobrooks outlined some of her agenda, her father, James Alsobrooks told a few stories of her time as a high school student at Benjamin Banneker High School in northwest D.C. As a senior, she was elected president of the citywide student government association.
“My wife and I said, ‘Baby, act like you expected this. Let’s go front up with a little class and dignity.’ [Angela] said, ‘Sure daddy. Ah!’” he said. “The thing that’s amazing is she still has that same enthusiasm. She still has that passion.”
Alsobrooks left the D.C. area after graduation from Benjamin Banneker High School in Northwest to study public policy at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, received her bachelor’s degree in 1993. She returned home to obtain a law degree in 1996 from the University of Maryland in College Park, becoming Prince George’s County’s first full-time prosecutor to handle domestic violence cases the following year.
On Monday, Alsobrooks reiterated several campaign goals such as maintaining safe communities by trusting law enforcement, pushing for higher-paying jobs and a $15 hourly minimum wage, and partnering with software companies to help prepare students to succeed in a technological-driven society.
One plan to improve government services that drew major applause was a possible return to twice-a-week collection of trash and recyclables. The county scaled back to once a week in May 2016 in order to save about $6 million, though a recent survey showed that about 74 percent of residents disagreed with going to once-a-week trash removal.
“That’s right — cleaning up the litter on our roads,” Alsobrooks said. “We will make whatever changes we need to deliver on our promises … and never settle for anything less.”
She credits her management and business knowledge during her time as executive director of the county’s Revenue Authority from 2003 to 2010. Afterward, she was elected in 2010 as state’s attorney and became the youngest ever elected to the position. For the past seven years, she leads an office of more than 200 people as one of a handful of Black prosecutors in the country.
After Alsobrooks spoke for about 18 minutes Monday, a DJ played McFadden and Whitehead’s “Ain’t Not Stoppin’ us Now,” which had her dancing and waving to supporters at the podium.
Several of those who waved back included at least three county council members, state officials and members of her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta.
Sorority sister Sinthea Myrick Kelly of Accokeek said Alsobrooks uses her position as state’s attorney to fight domestic violence.
“The fact that’s she homegrown, a native Prince Georgian, that says a lot, too,” Kelly said. “A single parent. She’s done it all. She will do what’s right.”