Howard County Board of Education member Janet Siddiqui announced last week she is running for a seat in 2014 to represent District 13 in the Maryland House of Delegates.
Siddiqui, a Democrat, made the announcement June 15 before a group of nearly 100 supporters at her annual fundraising picnic at Centennial Park in Ellicott City.
Siddiqui, of Clarksville, said she looked forward to "taking the work on education to the next level."
Siddiqui was first appointed to the board in 2007. She was re-elected in 2008 and in 2012 was the top vote-getter in an original field of 14.The position is a four-year term.
If elected to the House of Delegates, Siddiqui would have to leave her school board seat. If she leaves her seat before the election, a replacement would be appointed by County Executive Ken Ulman. If she leaves after the election, her replacement would be appointed by the new county executive.
U.S. Congressman Elijah Cummings was among the numerous elected officials from across the region who turned out to support Siddiqui in her announcement. In endorsing Siddiqui, Cummings said he would do "everything in my power to get her where she has to go.
"I am so excited about Janet Siddiqui," he said. "She will take her experience as a physician and as having served on the school board and take it to our legislature."
It's not enough for politicians to bring their life experiences to the table, Cummings said. They must also "synchronize their conscience with their conduct," which he said Siddiqui has done.
"We trust Janet," he said. "We trust that when she says she is going to do something, she's is going to do it."
Siddiqui, a physician and Office Medical Director at Johns Hopkins Community Physicians in Odenton, has served as both chair and vice-chair of the school board, and has been on the board's legislative committee since her election. If elected to represent District 13, which includes parts of Columbia, Clarksville, Elkridge and Savage, Siddiqui said she will continue to focus on education, as well as issues like human trafficking, human rights, public safety and senior issues.
Siddiqui is running for a spot left open by Guy Guzzone, who announced last week he is running for the District 13 senate seat left vacant by a retiring Jim Robey. Both he and Robey, along with District 13 Del. Shane Pedergrass, were on hand June 15 to welcome Siddiqui to "Team 13"
"The four of us (including Del. Frank Turner) were able to work together on so many issues in such a cooperative way to get real things done for the district and for Howard County," Guzzone said. "We knew we would have to come together and find someone who could join us in Team 13 to deliver the same kind of service. It's with great pleasure we are welcoming Janet to run with us."
Siddiqui said she was a excited to run with Team 13, and to have their support.
"I look around this room, and this represents Howard County," she said. "This represents District 13, with so many diverse people. There's so many issues we can continue to work on."Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun