During a three-hour discussion Wednesday on proposed state legislation that would affect Prince George’s County, Del. Dereck E. Davis offered some blunt remarks on state leadership and how the county needs to do better.
Davis, of Mitchellville who represents District 25 and chairs the House Economic Matters Committee, explained before dozens of people at Prince George’s Community College in Largo how county officials and residents must work together and harder now that state leadership may come from the Baltimore region.
House Speaker Adrienne Jones represents Baltimore County. Senate Democrats unanimously nominated Bill Ferguson of Baltimore City to replace longtime Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. as the new presiding officer. The full Senate must vote on the selection when it convenes next month.
Some of the responsibilities of the speaker and Senate president include setting agendas on when legislation gets introduced and choosing committee leaders.
“I love my colleagues from Baltimore and I have served with them. They are having quite a celebration right now,” said Davis, 52, a member of the House since 1995. “Having a person in that seat makes all the different in the world.”
Davis continued as he mentioned the late former Prince George’s County Executive Wayne K. Curry, who remains one of the most admired figures in the jurisdiction with the sports and learning complex in Landover named after him.
“I got to thinking about my good friend the late Wayne Curry. Wayne would’ve told me, ‘Dereck, Prince George’s County can’t always be reliant on handouts from other people,” he said. “For all of the Washington region’s supposed strength … with the two largest jurisdictions — Montgomery and Prince George’s counties — and we’re on the outside looking in. You know whose fault that is? Ours.”
Davis’ remarks for more than five minutes started from a proposed bill formally named “ethics limitations on applicant campaign contributions,” which seeks to repeal a person or business from limiting campaign contributions to the county executive or a slate of candidates. The largest amount a candidate can receive stands at $500.
Davis reiterated how Prince George’s remains the only jurisdiction in the state with that restriction. He also offered his take on a rumor that County Executive Angela Alsobrooks is considering a run for the governor’s seat. Gov. Larry Hogan’s term expires in 2022.
“I haven’t had one conversation with the county executive about this bill. I don’t need anybody’s permission to put a bill in,” he said. “While I love what she is doing for Prince George’s County, … Angela Alsobrooks can do more for us as potentially as governor than she can as the county executive. That’s just my opinion.”
However, a few residents such as Janna Parker of Temple Hills said the bill isn’t about the work Alsobrooks has done during her first year as executive.
“You are asking to repeal an ethics bill in a county that has had issues with ethics,” she said. “This is not appropriate. There is not a Prince George’s County resident that does not want to see Angela Alsobrooks as governor, but … she can do it without developer money.”
On Thursday, Alsobrooks spokesman John Erzen said in an email he hasn’t seen the proposed legislation and cannot comment on her political future.