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Baltimore Democratic Party seeking applicants to replace ex-Sen. Oaks after his resignation, guilty plea

Annapolis, MD--January 10, 2018--Senator Nathaniel Oaks sits in his seat in the rear of the Senate chamber on the first day of the 2018 legislative session at the State House. Barbara Haddock Taylor
Annapolis, MD--January 10, 2018--Senator Nathaniel Oaks sits in his seat in the rear of the Senate chamber on the first day of the 2018 legislative session at the State House. Barbara Haddock Taylor (Barbara Haddock Taylor / Baltimore Sun)

Baltimore’s Democratic Party has scheduled a process for replacing former Sen. Nathaniel Oaks, who resigned from the Maryland General Assembly and pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges last week.

The Baltimore City Democratic Central Committee announced it will hold interviews and vote on a replacement for Oaks’ 41st Legislative District Senate seat on April 17.

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Applicants have until April 13 to mail their resumes to P.O. Box 23762, Baltimore, MD 21203.

“The Baltimore City Democratic Central Committee is committed to an open, transparent, and expeditious process for filling this vacancy to ensure that the residents in the 41st Legislative District have adequate representation,” Scherod Barnes, the central committee chairman, said in a statement.

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Once the central committee selects a candidate for replacing Oaks, his or her name will be forwarded to Gov. Larry Hogan. Hogan then has 15 days to fill the seat, and he must appoint a candidate nominated by the central committee.

Maryland state Sen. Nathaniel Oaks, facing federal corruption trial, resigns from Maryland General Assembly. The Baltimore Democrat is facing a trial on bribery charges later this month.

Oaks is a member of the central committee and could vote on his successor.

His name will remain on the ballot for the June 26 Democratic primary, alongside former Del. Jill Carter and J.D. Merrill.

Even after resigning from office and pleading guilty to federal felony charges this week, Nathaniel Oaks will remain on the ballot as a candidate for state Senate.

If Oaks were to win, he likely would become ineligible to be a candidate three weeks later when he is sentenced in the federal corruption case. Federal guidelines recommend a total sentence of eight to 10 years.

In pleading guilty last week, Oaks acknowledged he accepted money in exchange for helping an FBI informant who posed as an out-of-town developer seeking the senator’s assistance. As part of the plea agreement, eight other charges against Oaks were dropped.

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