Governor names ex-delegate to Alston seat

Gov. Martin O'Malley has named a former Prince George's County lawmaker to take over the seat vacated by former Del. Tiffany Alston last year after a criminal conviction.

The governor announced Friday that he has chosen former Del. Darren Swain, who represented Prince George's in the House from 1999 to 2003, to fill the 24th District seat. Like Alston, Swain is a Democrat.

In choosing Swain, O'Malley passed over three candidates suggested by the local Democratic State Central Committee and chose a candidate backed by Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller.

Normally, the central committee would choose the replacement and the governor's appointment would be pro forma. But O'Malley objected to the committee's original choice, who had a criminal record in his past, and the panel agreed to withdraw the nomination. A Prince George's court ruled that because a statutory deadline had passed, the committee could make only a nonbinding recommendation to the governor.  The same judge also upheld Alston's automatic removal from office after her conviction on charges of misconduct in office.

Swain, 42, works as assistant vice president for alumni relations at Bowie State University.

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