The Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee has begun the process to fill the seat of former state Delegate Michael J. Vaughn, who abruptly resigned as the start of the Maryland General Assembly’s 2017 session Wednesday.
Several people have already expressed interest in replacing Vaughn, 59, of Mitchellville, who said in a brief letter he resigned for health reasons.
Vaughn represented the 24th District and served as second vice chair to the county’s House Delegation.
His resignation came as federal authorities released court documents that charged former Prince George’s state Delegate William A. Campos, two county liquor control board members and two county businessmen in bribery scandals.
Although Vaughn hasn’t been charged with any crime, the affidavit states in the liquor control board case that a member of the state’s House Economic Matters Committee voted in favor of a liquor license bill in March 2016. Vaughn served on that committee, according to a copy of the voting record.
Vaughn could not be reached for comment Saturday.
“Any seat is important to fill, but especially with this seat because whoever gets this seat will get two years of experience that will not only affect the district but the entire county,” Belinda Queen-Howard, who serves on the county’s central committee, said Saturday. “Who we appoint will come under more scrutiny with what’s been going on, so this person has to know the community and serve it well.”
Queen-Howard said several have expressed interest, including Jazz Lewis, who worked on the re-election campaign for Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland). He also worked on the “Hillary for America” campaign in Maryland and a current member of the county’s Democratic Central Committee.
Maurice Simpson Jr., 27, who serves as president of the Prince George’s Young Democrats, also plans to apply for the vacant position. He is credited for assisting with the completion of a final report by the Blue Ribbon Commission, a group formed in June 2015 to present recommendations on how to reduce the county’s structural deficit.
“I believe that we need a fresh perspective in our government,” said Simpson of Landover, who plans to focus on jobs and work force development if appointed.
The county’s central committee meets Tuesday at 7 p.m. at 4725 Silver Hill Road in Suitland.
Although the committee has 30 days from Vaughn’s vacancy to submit a name to Gov. Larry Hogan to fill the seat, it plans to hold a public hearing on Jan. 24 to choose a person to serve out the rest of Vaughn’s term, which expires next year.
Those interested in applying for the position can go to http://www.pgdems.com/contactus.