Democratic Del. Stephanie Smith, a freshman lawmaker from East Baltimore, was elected Friday to lead the city’s 18-member House delegation, replacing former chairwoman Cheryl Glenn, who resigned from the House amid corruption charges.
Smith, a lawyer, is an assistant director in the Baltimore City Department of Planning who works on racial equity issues. She wore a Ravens jersey Friday (Terrell Suggs’ No. 55) in honor of the team’s playoff run.
“I want to thank my colleagues for your trust,” Smith said, before invoking lawmakers’ plans to pass a massive overhaul of the state’s public education system. “This is going to be one of the most consequential sessions not only for the fate of Marylanders, but for Baltimore City specifically.”
Smith was nominated by powerful Appropriations Chairwoman Del. Maggie McIntosh. Her fellow city lawmakers, all Democrats, elected her unanimously.
“Delegate Smith is very familiar with state government and with the workings of our delegation. She has some great ideas about how to strengthen this delegation moving forward,” McIntosh said. She added that Smith has had a strong focus on the U.S. Census and making sure every Baltimore resident is counted.
Del. Robbyn Lewis called Smith a “proven leader with incredible intellect.”
Glenn resigned in December amid charges of bribery and wire fraud. U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur said Glenn accepted $33,750 in bribes in exchange for several actions: voting for a bill that increased the number of state medical cannabis licenses, introducing legislation to ease the experience requirement to be medical director of an opioid treatment clinic, and introducing legislation to create a new liquor license in her East Baltimore district.
Her arraignment and initial appearance in court are scheduled for Jan. 22.