Dereck E. Davis, who spent nearly half his life representing Prince George’s County as a member of the House of Delegates, will officially represent the entire state of Maryland as its new state treasurer.
House Speaker Adrienne Jones and Senate President Bill Ferguson swore in Davis during a ceremony Friday, Dec. 17 inside the House chamber in Annapolis.
Davis, 54, represents not only the second African American elected to the position after Richard N. Dixon, but also the first person from Prince George’s.
The county native has represented the 25th Legislative District in the House of Delegates since 1995 – the last 18 years as chair of the influential House Economic Matters Committee during which he has overseen policies that include economic development, alcoholic beverages and labor and employment.
“It is bittersweet. I am thrilled for this new opportunity. It was time for me to move on,” he said during an interview after the ceremony.
“I wasn’t married when I got here. Now I’ve been married for 26 years. I didn’t have any children. Almost every good thing that’s happened to me has happened since I’ve been a member of the House of Delegates. I’m going to miss this place,” Davis said.”
Davis, of Mitchellville, began work Monday, Dec. 20. Some of his duties include managing state funds and property, issuing or authorizing agents to issue payments of state funds and overseeing financial institutions that invest in the state.
One of his main priorities will be to serve on the three-member Board of Public Works with the comptroller and the governor, which decides on millions of dollars in procurement and various state projects. He’s scheduled to attend his first Board of Public Works meeting Jan. 5.
Former state treasurer Nancy Kopp, who held the position for 20 years, said Davis spoke to the treasurer office staff last week and made quite an impression.
“When he left, you had a happy office of people who knew that they had a treasurer they can respect,” she said. “Dereck Davis is the right person at the right time and I couldn’t be more pleased.”
Davis comes into the position as the state remains poised to transition into new leadership in less than 14 months. Term limits will expire in January 2023 for Gov. Larry Hogan to complete his two four-year terms.
Attorney General Brian Frosh will not seek a third term and will retire from public office after first serving in the House of Delegates in 1987.
Comptroller Peter Franchot continues to campaign in efforts to secure the Democratic nomination for governor.
“Today is really a symbol of stability that this state can, and at our best, represent,” Ferguson said during the ceremony. “Dereck Davis is a man who knows this place, knows this state, knows the priorities and the people of Maryland.”
Several fellow Prince Georgians attended the swearing-in ceremony Friday to honor Davis.
State Sen. Melony Griffith (D-District 25) of Upper Marlboro recalled when she and Davis competed in 1994 for a seat in the House of Delegates.
“Then four years later, I was able to join him along with [other] colleagues in the House of Delegates. He has had an incredibly distinguished career and he is going to go to higher heights in this new position,” she said. “He’s a young African-American man serving in this role. It’s just a great day historically, but more than that, he’s qualified to do the job.”
In the meantime, someone will need to replace Davis and complete his term which expires next year.
The county’s Democratic Central Committee will schedule a public hearing to solicit comments from interested candidates. The committee will vote to recommend that person for appointment by Gov. Larry Hogan.
The chosen candidate will join delegates Darryl Barnes and Nick Charles to represent the 25th district which includes the city of District Heights, the town of Morningside and portions of Upper Marlboro.
The Maryland General Assembly’s 90-day session begins Jan. 12.