The Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee overwhelmingly chose Faye Martin Howell to fill the vacancy of former Del. Erek Barron, who left to become Maryland’s first Black U.S. attorney.
The committee’s 16-2 vote on Thursday, Oct. 28 means Martin Howell’s name will be sent to Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan to officially appoint her and complete Barron’s term that expires next year. When Hogan receives her name, he has 15 days to confirm the selection.
When officially approved, she will serve alongside Dels. Andrea Fletcher Harrison and Jazz Lewis to represent the 24th legislative district that includes the cities of Glenarden, District Heights, Largo and parts of Bowie.
Martin Howell serves as the central committee’s treasurer.
“I just want to just say thank you to the Democratic central committee [members] for their votes,” said Martin Howell, of Landover, who plans to run for one of the three District 24 seats. “I do want to say that in 2022, may the best person win.”
The central committee nominated two other candidates for vacant seats this year.
In August, the committee chose former Del. Ron Watson of Upper Marlboro to represent District 23 as a state senator when Douglas J. J. Peters resigned to serve on the University of Maryland Board of Regents.
One month later, the committee chose its former chair Cheryl Landis of Upper Marlboro to fill Watson’s seat through next year representing District 23B that includes parts of Bowie and Upper Marlboro. As of Saturday, Oct. 30, Landis’ name wasn’t shown on the Maryland Board of Elections website to officially declare running for one of the two seats in that district.
During Thursday’s selection process, part of the committee’s procedure allows two people to speak on behalf of a candidate. Martin Howell received verbal endorsements from Landis and state Sen. Joanne C. Benson (D-District 24) of Landover.
“It is indeed an honor to be commended by your peers. It is even a greater honor to be sought after by the elected leaders in District 24 to fill this Maryland state delegate vacancy,” Landis said. “She has earned the privilege of receiving this appointment.”
LaTasha Ward of Bowie received two votes from committee members Antwan Brown and Ernest Canlas.
Ward, a former member of the central committee, said after the virtual meeting she understands the process and not being selected won’t stop her from running. She filed paperwork with the state Board of Elections in September.
“I’m going to work hard. Maybe it’s a blessing not to have [Benson’s support] because I don’t want to be controlled,” she said. “I’m here to work for the people.”
Ward received several endorsements at her campaign kick-off last month that included county State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy, Del. Dereck E. Davis (D-District 25) of Mitchellville and former Del. Carolyn J. B. Howard.
Meanwhile, Lewis announced Oct. 26 he plans to seek the Democratic nomination to run for the 4th Congressional district. The seat in Congress will be available because Rep. Anthony Brown (D-Md.) will run in the June 28 primary for the state’s attorney general after Brian Frosh announced his decision to not seek a third term.
The county’s 24th legislative district has at least one other person interested in running, Christopher Stevenson of Glenarden, who turned 31 on Oct. 24.
Although Stevenson hasn’t filed paperwork with the state Board of Elections, he established a website at www.christopherstevenson.com. He works as a lead policy writer with 1199SEIU, chairs the Maryland Democratic Party’s Health Committee and serves on the county’s Democratic Central Committee.
A few of his priorities for District 24 include the elimination of food deserts, economic empowerment, education and tax breaks and affordable housing for senior citizens.
“Why not pursue policies to be put in place … that may capture people that fall through the cracks?” Stevenson said before the central committee session. “I want to put policies in place that further develop Prince George’s County.”