A trio of Democratic legislators representing Annapolis and Anne Arundel County in the Maryland General Assembly has filed for reelection in 2022.
State Sen. Sarah Elfreth and Dels. Shaneka Henson and Dana Jones announced their plans to run for another term in a joint news release Wednesday. Maryland will hold its primary election on June 28, 2022, and the general election on November 8, 2022.
Elfreth was the youngest woman to ever be elected to the Maryland Senate in 2018 to represent Annapolis and southern Anne Arundel County in District 30.
During her first term, Elfreth sponsored 39 bills that were passed by the Maryland General Assembly, including the creation of Maryland’s first Office of Statewide Broadband, investing in libraries, small businesses and prenatal care for Maryland mothers, and protecting oysters and clean water.
“In these uncertain times of the pandemic and partisan politics, District 30 has a proven team of legislators working for our community,” Elfreth said. “I am proud to be running for re-election with Delegates Henson and Jones.
Elfreth serves on the Budget & Taxation Committee, and chairs the Anne Arundel County Senate Delegation, Pensions Subcommittee and Joint Committee on Administrative and Legislative Review.
“Together, we have already helped pass landmark legislation in Maryland, aided and advocated for over 5,000 constituents who contacted our offices, and secured millions in funding each year for critical local projects,” she added. “It’s been the honor of my life to represent District 30 in the State Senate — and there is work ahead to continue to protect our environment, keep our communities safe, and support Maryland families and small businesses.”
Before being elected to the Senate, Elfreth served as the Director of Government Affairs for the National Aquarium and as Director of University Projects, focused on economic development in university towns, for Margrave Strategies.
Outside of the Senate, Sarah teaches political science and public policy at Towson University’s Honors College and lives in downtown Annapolis.
Henson, an attorney and former Annapolis City Council member, was appointed in 2019 to succeed the late Speaker Michael E. Busch to represent District 30A.
In her first two legislative sessions, Henson sponsored bills focused on establishing inspection and licensing requirements for Annapolis public housing, debt relief for child support obligors and forging a partnership between Maryland law schools and Historically Black Colleges and Universities to provide scholarships to students.
“I am excited to seek re-election with Senator Elfreth and Delegate Jones. I believe we are an experienced and dynamic ticket,” Henson said. “As a product of Maryland’s public schools, I am committed to supporting our students’ success in the classroom and in the community. I will continue to support the production of affordable housing, pass laws that make our communities and workplaces safer, increase opportunities for small business growth, protect our greenspaces, and tackle systemic inequities like gender pay gaps and diversity in higher education.”
Henson serves on the Appropriations Committee, the Maryland Sexual Assault Evidence Kit Policy and Funding Committee. She is chair the Anne Arundel County Delegation’s Public Health Subcommittee and co-chairs the Capital Budget Subcommittee.
In June 2020, Henson was appointed to Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh’s Access to Justice Housing Affordability Task Force ahead of an anticipated surge in evictions and foreclosures resulting from job loss due to the pandemic.
Henson was previously elected to the Annapolis City Council representing Ward 6, serving from 2017 to 2019.
An attorney since 2010, Henson owns her own law practice based in Annapolis, where she lives with her husband and son.
Jones is a former legislative aide to then-Congressman Ben Cardin and research director for Emily’s List, a political action committee that aims to elect Democratic women to office. In 2020, she was selected by the Anne Arundel Democratic Central Committee and appointed by Gov. Larry Hogan to fill the seat vacated by Del. Alice Cain representing District 30A.
“I am proud to have served the constituents of District 30A through the past year-and-a-half with such effective legislators as Senator Elfreth and Delegate Henson,” Jones said. “I am eager to continue my work on the issues that matter to the residents of our district, especially improving schools, protecting voting rights, restoring the Chesapeake Bay, supporting those in need and increasing government transparency and accountability.”
Jones sponsored four bills two which were enacted into law including a tax deduction of up to $1,000 for qualified diaper and hygiene product donations, and a government transparency bill to help create a more comprehensive report on Maryland’s tax burden.
She serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, and both the Election Law and Education Subcommittees.
In 2020, Jones was selected to serve on Maryland’s Student Data Privacy Council, which sought ways to ensure that students’ personal data is protected from fraud, theft and intrusive marketing.
Jones and her husband are active with numerous local community organizations in Annapolis and Anne Arundel County, and most weekends can be found volunteering or at a youth sports event for their son.
One Republican has filed for the District 30A race and a second has formed an exploratory committee.
Lt. Doug Rathell, a 15-year veteran of the Annapolis Fire Department, announced his candidacy in May for one of two District 30A House of Delegates seats.
Battalion Chief John Ortlieb, a 16-year veteran of the Annapolis Fire Department, has formed an unofficial exploratory committee for the other seat. Ortlieb has not yet filed candidacy paperwork, according to the state election board.