The Anne Arundel County Democratic Central Committee has begun the search for a new state delegate from Annapolis following the resignation of Del. Alice Cain.
State law imposes a 30-day deadline for the governor to appoint a replacement, and the group is forging ahead despite the surging coronavirus pandemic, officials said late Friday.
Cain resigned Wednesday, citing unforeseen family circumstances, and the committee has 30 days to submit a nominee to Gov. Larry Hogan, otherwise, he can select any registered Democrat from District 30A without the approval of the committee, chairwoman Thea Boykins-Wilson said in a statement.
Any registered Democrat over the age of 21 who has lived in Maryland for more than a year, and in Annapolis for more than 6 months is eligible to apply before 11:59 p.m. April 11, Boykins-Wilson said.
Candidates can apply by sending a resume and letter of interest to the Anne Arundel County Democratic Central Committee at email@example.com
The 14-day application period required by law began on Saturday, she said.
After the application deadline has passed, the committee will review the applications and then interview all candidates at a special meeting at 7 p.m. on April 16 at Village Commons Community Center in Gambrills.
Boykins-Wilson said the committee is currently still planning to allow the public to attend the meeting, but it is subject to coronavirus-related restrictions. There will be no public comment period for this reason, she said.
“Despite the conditions the COVID-19 outbreak has caused in our community, we will manage this process in a fair and extremely transparent manner,” Boykins-Wilson said in a statement.
Members of the community will still be able to submit letters of support for their favorite candidate, questions or concerns until 11:59 p.m. on April 14. Boykins said letters can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Whoever is selected will serve the rest of Cain’s term, which ends in 2022. They would then have to run for reelection and win to keep the seat.
The Anne Arundel County Democratic Central Committee — which is made up of 13 elected members — followed this same process last year, following the death of former Speaker of the House Mike Busch. Del. Shaneka Henson, D-Annapolis, was selected by the group and approved by the governor. Henson formerly served as the Ward 6 Annapolis alderwoman.
Cain, who resigned following Sine Die, called her decision “gut-wrenching” in an interview with The Capital on Wednesday. In her resignation letter, she wrote she would continue serving the city of Annapolis and the Anne Arundel County Delegation as much as she could.
“My family needs me in ways that were unforeseen when I launched my campaign, and it is time for me to turn my focus back to them in a way that is necessary – and that serving in the legislature simply does not allow.”
Boykins-Wilson said her decision to step down was respected.
“We have come to know her as a very prudent and measured community leader,” Boykins-Wilson wrote. “Her presence and work in the Maryland General Assembly, on behalf of her constituents in District 30 A and our entire state, has made a significant impact on the quality of lives for all Marylanders.”