The Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee will hold a public hearing on Jan. 4 to recommend a replacement for former Del. Dereck E. Davis, who recently vacated his seat in the 25th Legislative District to become the state treasurer.
Interested candidates have until 5 p.m. on Jan. 2 to submit their information, including a letter of intent, resume and voter registration card.
Most importantly, each person must reside in the 25th District, which includes District Heights, Suitland and parts of Upper Marlboro.
“[Davis] has been there for a long time representing the district,” said Kent Robertson, chair of the county’s Central Committee and represents the 25th District on the committee. “I am looking forward to whoever’s there and with the District 25 team. All of us working together will benefit Prince George’s County.”
The committee will vote to submit a name to Gov. Larry Hogan, who has within 15 days to appoint that person when he receives the name.
That person would work alongside Dels. Darryl Barnes, who chairs the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland, and Nick Charles, who now chairs the county’s House delegation. Senate President Pro Tem Melony Griffith represents the 25th District in the Senate.
After the committee’s announcement Monday on the public hearing, lawmakers with the 25th District released a statement supporting former Prince George’s County Council member Karen Toles to fill the seat.
“We agreed that Karen Toles, an established fiscal leader known for her community engagement, advocacy for seniors and outstanding constituent services is poised join the team and hit the ground running on behalf of District 25,” Griffith said in a statement.
Toles, a county native who represented the council’s 7th District from 2010 to 2018, sponsored various pieces of legislation such as employers offering sick and safe leave. She’s also a staunch advocate for the Suitland area with projects like the Town Square at Suitland Federal Center that broke ground in November 2017.
Toles currently works as director of community affairs and legislative adviser in the county’s state’s attorney office.
“I am honored that the leaders of District 25 have demonstrated confidence in me to serve with them in Annapolis,” she said in a statement. “I would consider it a true honor to be selected through the process ahead and would welcome the opportunity to again serve the community where I was raised.”
The Maryland General Assembly’s 90-day session begins on Jan. 12.
The county’s Central Committee held three meetings this year to fill vacant seats in the legislature.
In August, the committee chose former Del. Ron Watson of Upper Marlboro to represent District 23 as a state senator when Douglass 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, which includes parts of Bowie and Upper Marlboro.
On Oct. 28, the committee almost voted unanimously to select its treasurer Faye Martin Howell to represent the 24th District, which includes Fairmount Heights, Lake Arbor and Seat Pleasant. She replaced former Del. Erek Baron, who left to become Maryland’s first Black U.S. attorney for the state.
Hogan announced Howell’s appointment to the House of Delegates on Nov. 4.