Maryland lawmakers re-elect Democrat Nancy Kopp to four-year term as state treasurer

Maryland’s lawmakers re-elected Nancy Kopp to serve as the state’s treasurer for another four-year term.

Kopp, a Democrat who has held the position since 2002, won an overwhelming number of votes Tuesday during a joint session of the House of Delegates and the state Senate.

The treasurer is responsible for the state’s finances, including investments and pension funds. The treasurer also serves on the Board of Public Works, a three-member body that approves state contracts and activities on state-owned lands and in public waterways. The annual salary for the job is $149,000.

In a brief speech, Kopp thanked lawmakers for trusting and supporting her.

Kopp said she draws inspiration from two colleagues: state Health Secretary Robert Neall and the late Del. Howard “Pete” Rawlings, a Baltimore Democrat.

Kopp and Neall served at the same time in the legislature, and though they were leaders of opposing parties, they worked together “trying to craft good answers for difficult problems.”

And she said she follows the motto of Rawlings: “We are fiscally prudent and socially responsible. One without the other is not worth pursuing.”

Kopp received 134 votes out of 183 cast. There were a few dozen votes for others to serve as state treasurer, including 24 for Del. Ben Brooks, a Baltimore County Democrat who sought to challenge Kopp but missed the deadline to apply for the post.

Members of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland raised concerns earlier about Kopp, saying she hadn’t done enough to support minority businesses in awarding state contracts and investing state funds. Some were particularly concerned that the Board of Public Works approved a contract last month to install statues of former Maryland slaves and abolitionists Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass in the State House without any participation by minority-owned companies.

During a meeting with the caucus last week, Kopp pledged to be mindful of its concerns and to communicate better.

pwood@baltsun.com

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