New Maryland House leadership positions include Dumais as majority leader, Clippinger as Judiciary chair

Maryland House Speaker Michael E. Busch on Wednesday made a series of appointments to leadership positions in the House of Delegates — including naming a new majority leader and chair of the powerful Judiciary Committee.

Busch, an Anne Arundel Democrat, selected Del. Kathleen Dumais of Montgomery County to become the new majority leader — the third most-powerful position in the House of Delegates.


A member of the House of Delegates since 2003, Dumais replaces Del. Bill Frick, who ran unsuccessfully for Montgomery County executive. She will serve as floor leader for the Democratic Caucus, mentoring younger members and developing political and policy strategy for House leadership, Busch’s office said.

“Kathleen has proven herself to be a consensus builder and is one of the hardest working members in the House of Delegates – often working from dawn until dusk,” Busch said in a statement. “I am confident she will bring energy and focus to the Majority Leader position.”

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan's campaign said Wednesday that the governor will debate twice in September — but Democratic challenger Ben Jealous's camp says no schedule has been set.

Busch also named Del. Luke Clippinger of Baltimore as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. He replaces Del. Joseph F. Vallario Jr., the committee’s longtime chairman who lost a re-election bid.

Clippinger, a prosecutor, has been a member of the House of Delegates since 2010.

“Criminal justice policy is evolving more rapidly every year and I am pleased to name an experienced practitioner to lead this committee for the next term,” Busch said. “Luke has proven himself time and again as having the ability to work with people from all backgrounds and bring a common sense, forward-thinking approach to policy issues.”

Gov. Larry Hogan has appointed Alice Sophocleus, the widow of Ted Sophocleus, a longtime Anne Arundel County delegate who died last month, to serve out the remainder of his term, the governor announced Monday.

The appointments take effect in January. Busch’s other appointments include:

» Del. Vanessa Atterbeary of Howard County was named the vice chairwoman of the House Judiciary Committee;

» Del. Eric Bromwell of Baltimore County was named the Vice chairman of the House Economic Matters Committee;


» Del. Joseline Peña-Melnyk, who represents Prince George’s and Anne Arundel Counties, was named the vice chairwoman of the House Health and Government Operations Committee;

» Del. Kris Valderrama of Prince George’s County was named the Deputy Speaker Pro Tem;

» Del. Keith Haynes of Baltimore was named the Deputy Majority Leader;

» Del. Eric Luedtke of Montgomery County was named the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus;

» Delegate Jazz Lewis of Prince George’s County was named the vice chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.