The Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee is looking to fill another vacant seat in the Maryland General Assembly now that Sen. Susan Lee (D-Dist. 16) has been named secretary of state for Maryland by Gov. Wes Moore.
Based on state constitution requirements, since Lee is a Democrat, MCDCC can nominate an individual to fill the vacancy and submit that name to the governor. The governor will make an appointment within 30 days after the vacancy. The person appointed will serve the unexpired term ending in November 2026, according to a MCDCC news release.
The District 16 area includes Bethesda, Cabin John, Potomac and other nearby areas.
To be eligible to run for the vacancy, an applicant must be:
- a registered Democratic voter in the state of Maryland
- a resident of Legislative District 16
- at least 25 years old
Those interested in applying for the appointment should submit a cover letter, a resume and any other supporting materials that they would like the MCDCC to consider by email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “D16 Senate Vacancy” no later than 5 p.m. on Feb. 2.
Candidates who meet the qualifications will be invited to make a brief statement at the Feb. 14 MCDCC meeting and answer questions from MCDCC members. The MCDCC will vote to recommend an applicant to the governor immediately upon concluding the interviews.
The District 16 Democratic Club will host a public forum via Zoom for residents of District 16 to meet the applicants at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 8. A link will be shared publicly closer to the date, according to MCDCC.
MCDCC is also encouraging registered District 16 Democratic voters to submit letters of support for the applicant of their choice to email@example.com no later than 5 p.m. on Feb. 9.
Del. Ariana Kelly (D-Dist. 16) announced in a news release last week that she intends to run for the vacancy. Her colleagues in her district, Del. Marc Korman and Del. Sara Love, endorsed her in prepared statements.
Lee told Bethesda Beat last week that any of the three delegates in her district–Kelly, Korman and Love–would be good picks to succeed her.
MCDCC went through a similar process last month, when Eric Luedtke, former House majority leader and District 14 delegate, was named chief legislative officer in the Moore administration, leaving a vacancy in the General Assembly.
The vacancy prompted some committee members, including Michelle Whittaker and Liza Smith, to say that the appointment process should be changed so that no current committee members can apply for vacancies. However, no rule change has occurred.
MCDCC ultimately chose Bernice Mireku-North, a defense attorney and former prosecutor, to fill the vacancy. She was appointed by then-Gov. Larry Hogan.