After a heated meeting, members of the Baltimore City Democratic Central Committee have selected the director of the Oliver Community Association to replace Del. Hattie Harrison, who was the longest-serving member of the House of Delegates.
Committee members voted Friday to appoint Nina Harper to fill the open seat in the 45th District, which includes much of northeast and east Baltimore. She did not respond to a call seeking comment Monday.
Scherod C. Barnes, of the central committee, said the full committee would likely approve Harper's nomination Wednesday, sending the pick to Gov. Martin O'Malley for final approval.
The Friday night meeting in which board members selected Harper got heated, according to several observers. Three board members nominated and voted for themselves, outraging some in the audience; one board member cast incorrect ballots multiple times; and it took two re-votes for a winner to emerge.
"Some of the public felt the state central committee members should not be voting for themselves," Barnes said. "There was some discontent."
Harrison, a Democrat, had represented East Baltimore's 45th District since 1973. Born in Lancaster, S.C., Harrison attended Baltimore public schools and was a graduate of Antioch College. She was a schoolteacher for much of her life.