Linda Norman nominated to fill remainder of late husband's State Senate term

Linda Norman, the widow of the late state Sen. H. Wayne Norman Jr., has been nominated by the Republican Central Committees of Cecil and Harford counties to serve the remainder of the senator’s term in the Maryland General Assembly.

Both committees submitted their nomination of Linda Norman to Gov. Larry Hogan’s Appointments Office Monday afternoon, following committee votes over the weekend, their leaders confirmed. The governor has up to 30 days after a vacancy opens in the Maryland General Assembly to approve a nomination to fill that vacancy.

“The committee’s unanimous consent was to move forward with the recommendation to the governor that Linda Norman fill out the remaining term for Senate District 35,” Jeff McBride, chairman of the Republican Central Committee of Harford County, said Monday.

The vote among the Cecil County Republican Central Committee was “100 percent unanimous,” Cecil GOP chairwoman Diane Carabetta said. “We are happy.”

Norman, 62, of Bel Air, died March 4. The Republican was elected in 2014 to Senate District 35, which covers much of northern and central Harford County and western and northern Cecil County. The Bel Air attorney served in the House of Delegates for seven years before taking his seat in the Senate in early 2015.

Linda Norman had been mentioned as a potential successor by committee members, the chairpersons said.

“It’s historical that you ask the surviving spouse or immediate family,” Carabetta said.

McBride said committee members conferred with Linda Norman during the weekend — the late senator’s funeral was Friday — and she accepted the nomination on Monday.

Linda Norman would fill the remaining months on her late husband’s term, which ends in early 2019, should Hogan approve her nomination. Hogan attended the senator’s funeral at the Mountain Christian Church New Life Center in Joppa and spoke during the service.

Norman was running for a second term, and Jason Gallion, of Level, was selected by the Maryland Republican Party to succeed him on this year’s ballot. Gallion is the only candidate on the ballot for the June 26 statewide primary, although an unaffiliated candidate or someone who is not a member of a major political party could file for the November general election ballot should they get enough signatures.

The winner of the election would take office in January 2019.

Linda Norman, if approved, would take office in the final third of the 90-day Maryland General Assembly session, which ends in early April.

“She will be working some of the late senator’s legislation, as well as some of her own if she has any ideas,” Republican Sen. J.B. Jennings, the Senate minority leader, said Monday.

Jennings, who represents western Harford and eastern Baltimore County in District 7, said he thinks Linda Norman is “an excellent pick” to fill the remainder of the term.

“She brings a lot of talent herself, from her life experiences and her work experience, that she’ll add to the debate in Annapolis,” he said.

Jennings said Linda Norman could introduce legislation via the main body of the Senate — it would then go to the Rules Committee and then to the appropriate standing committee for a vote on whether it could move to the full Senate.

“Once she raises her right hand and takes the oath, she is a state senator,” Jennings said.

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