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Craig Zucker to be sworn in as state senator Thursday

The state Senate will fill an open seat Thursday as Craig J. Zucker -- currently a state delegate -- will replace Karen Montgomery, who retired before the start of the General Assembly session.

Zucker, a Democrat representing Montgomery County, will be sworn into office Thursday morning after Gov. Larry Hogan made the appointment official on Wednesday.

Zucker is expected to be a key vote on Friday when senators attempt to override Hogan's veto of a bill that allows people convicted of felonies to vote as soon as they are released from prison -- instead of having to wait until they complete parole or probation.

Senators need 29 votes to override a gubernatorial veto, and the veto override on the felon voting bill was delayed until the open seat could be filled.

Zucker voted for the override in the House of Delegates.

Montgomery County's Democratic Central Committee nominated Zucker to fill the seat last month, and Hogan had until the end of the week to appoint him. The law does not permit the governor to substitute another choice.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. had complained publicly that Hogan was taking a long time in appointing Zucker.

Zucker, 40, was elected to the House of Delegates in 2010. His move across the hall to the state Senate will create a vacancy in the House of Delegates.

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