Gov. Larry Hogan appointed Dana Jones to the Maryland House of Delegates Thursday morning, confirming the nomination of the Anne Arundel County Democratic Central Committee.
Jones will serve the greater Annapolis area of District 30A for the next two years in a seat that was vacated last month when Del. Alice Cain resigned due to unforeseen family circumstances.
“I am confident that Ms. Jones will be a strong advocate for her constituents in Anne Arundel in her new role as state delegate,” said Governor Hogan. “I offer her my sincere congratulations and look forward to having the opportunity to work with her to change Maryland for the better.”
Jones is the communications vice president for the Junior League of Annapolis. She previously served as a legislative aide to U.S. Senator Ben Cardin and as the research director for Emily’s List, a political action committee that aims to elect Democratic women to office, and helped County Executive Steuart Pittman with debate preparation during his 2018 campaign.
On Friday Pittman endorsed the committee’s decision in a statement to The Capital.
“I think the central committee made an excellent choice. Dana will be a fantastic representative for District 30A," Pittman wrote. "She’s smart, hardworking and very familiar with how government works. I look forward to working with her as a Delegate.”
She is from Allegany County, where her mother served on the central committee for 18 years and her father is still the president of the American Postal Workers Union, Local 513. She attended Fort Hill High School in Cumberland and earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Towson University, where she was also part of the College Democrats group. With her family, she said she attends St. Mary’s Parish in Annapolis.
Jones said she is looking forward to building relationships with community leaders in the districts underrepresented communities. She said she will take a listening and learning approach so she can best represent them at the State House. Though she has not yet been sworn in, she said she’s already treating it like a full-time job, including working with Cain’s former staff to continue providing constituent services.
During a virtual town hall Thursday night with her new district mates Sen. Sarah Elfreth, D-Annapolis, and Del. Shaneka Henson, D-Annapolis, Jones said she is eager to continue some of Cain’s legislative initiatives in education and is especially concerned with eliminating the digital divide among students.
She calls herself a “homegrown Maryland girl” who has, up until this point, preferred to work behind the scenes. She has 22 years of experience working on Democratic campaigns and policy. Wanting to be a part of the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic is what prompted her to apply for the open House of Delegates, she said.
During the town hall, Jones’ husband Jude Meche and her son Liam made an appearance in the frame to introduce themselves.
Elfreth veered from policy questions a few times throughout the conversation to help constituents get to know the new delegate.
Jones’ favorite things to eat in Annapolis are wings from Federal House Bar & Grille; tacos and margaritas from Vida Taco Bar; and Sammy’s Italian Pizza Kitchen.
Her favorite Bruce Springsteen songs are “Born in the USA” and “Born to run.” Her favorite book is “The Water Dancer” by Ta-Nehisi Coates, a Baltimore native.
She won the nomination with seven of the 12 voting members of the Democratic Central Committee voting in her support after a marathon meeting that took place last Thursday night. The virtual meeting was conducted via Zoom, and 19 candidates were interviewed back-to-back for 15 minutes each. The committee then deliberated in a private meeting for about an hour, and the voting session was livestreamed on Facebook at 2:15 a.m. Friday.
The committee member votes are listed below:
James Estepp (D21): Dana Jones
Thea Boykins-Wilson (D30): Chrissy Holt
Stacy Korbelak (D30): Ian Pfeiffer
Brooks Schandelmeier (D30): Scott MacMullan
Christine Davenport (D31): Dana Jones
Maryland Policy & Politics
Harry Freeman (D31): Dana Jones
Dawn Merino (D31): Dana Jones
Patrick Armstrong (D32): Henry Green
Andrea Horton (D32): Dana Jones
Dejah Williams (D32); Dana Jones
Alexandra Matiella (D33): Vickie Gipson
Noah Stewart (D33): Dana Jones