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Alsobrooks Adds Senate Endorser: Baltimore Co. Executive Olszewski
On May 15, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced he is not running for the U.S. Senate to replace the outgoing senator, Baltimore County Democrat Ben Cardin. Like Baltimore Congressman Kweisi Mfume (D), Olszewski is endorsing Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks (D) for the position.
“When we elect Angela to be our next senator, Maryland will once again have a woman representing our state in Congress, and the first Black woman to represent Maryland in the United States Senate, ” said Olszewski. “These are hard races, but I know we’ve got someone who is a fighter, who has fought for Prince George’s County and who I am very confident will fight not just for Baltimore County but the entire region and state.”
Both Alsobrooks and Olszewski were first elected to their respective executive offices in 2018.
Having an open line of communication with Olszewski is one of the reasons he is supporting her, and to keep her informed of issues in the Baltimore metro region.
Alsobrooks has also been endorsed by Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman (D), State Treasurer Dereck E. Davis (D), former Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett (D) and numerous others.
Montgomery County Congressman David Trone (D) and Montgomery County Councilman Will Jawando (D) are included in the candidates for the vacant Senate seat.
Committee Chair Resigns, Shake-Ups in House Leadership
Following the May 17 resignation of Montgomery County Delegate Kumar Barve (D) to pursue a nomination to the Maryland Public Service Commission, several legislators are shifting in leadership and being appointed to new positions.
Barve, the first Indian-American and first Hindu elected to a state legislature in American history when he first took office in 1991, served as the chair of the Environment and Transportation Committee. His nomination is subject to Senate confirmation next year.
Montgomery County Delegate Marc Korman (D), the House majority leader and a former House Appropriations Subcommittee chair, will now serve as the chair of the Environment and Transportation Committee.
“Marc has distinguished himself as Majority Leader and is a nationally recognized transportation policy expert,” said House Speaker Adrienne Jones Jones (D) in a written statement. “He will bring his considerable talents and energy to the committee.”
Baltimore County Delegate Dana Stein, the vice chair of the House Environment and Transportation Committee, will replace Eastern Shore Delegate Sheree Sample Hughes (D) as speaker pro tempore and Baltimore City Delegate Regina Boyce (D) will now serve as the vice chair of the Environment and Transportation Committee. Hughes announced late on May 17 that she was being asked to step down by the speaker, but will serve in the role until the next legislative term begins.
“I will continue to faithfully serve the citizens of District 37A in the Maryland House of Delegates until otherwise. It is my firm belief that geographical diversity has a place in the Maryland House of Delegates,” said Sample-Hughes.
Sample-Hughes is the first Black Delegate from the Eastern Shore and the only Democrat in the Eastern Shore Delegation. Multiple Eastern Shore news outlets have noted the potential impact that losing her voice may have on their region.
Montgomery County Delegate David Moon (D) will become the new majority leader and vacate his position as the vice chair of the Judiciary Committee, which will be filled by Anne Arundel County Delegate Sandy Bartlett (D). Jones described Moon as a “powerful consensus builder”.
Prince George’s Delegates Jazz Lewis (D), Nick Charles (D) and Kevin Harris (D) will also be entering new roles. Lewis will chair the House Appropriations Public Safety and Administration Subcommittee. Charles will chair the Ways and Means Committee’s Local Revenues Subcommittee. Harris will be the vice chair of the House Appropriations Education & Economic Development Subcommittee.
Gov. Wes Moore Issues First Vetoes
On May 19, Gov. Wes Moore (D) issued his first vetoes and allowed ten bills to become law without his signature following the first legislative session of his gubernatorial tenure. Two of the vetoes were for legislation that had already been signed; the third was on proposed changes to commuter bus procurement by the Maryland Transit Authority (MTA).
“This is the last action by the governor on bills passed during the recent General Assembly session,” according to Moore spokesman Carter Elliott IV.
Moore did not sign a bill that would limit the ability of law enforcement to use the smell of cannabis as pretext for a traffic stop or search, which will be implemented on July 1 alongside recreational cannabis legalization.
Several other laws that will be implemented without Moore’s signature include a repeal of Maryland’s sodomy law, an adjustment on towing hours and establishing an Accessory Dwelling Unit Policy Task Force.