The Senate, without dissent, has confirmed Prince George’s County Del. Erek Barron as Maryland’s next U.S. attorney.
His nomination was approved on a voice vote late Thursday night.
Barron, 47, is the first Black person to become the state’s top federal law enforcement official. He is the first Democrat to serve as a presidentially-appointed U.S. attorney in the state in 20 years, although a few Democrats have served on an acting basis.
He may begin in the post as soon as next week, though no official start date has been set.
In a written statement, Barron called the U.S. Attorney’s Office “an exceptional team” and said he would “strengthen the tradition of bipartisan cooperation and consultation with our local partners and the communities we represent.”
Barron has been a prosecutor and worked as President Joe Biden’s counsel and policy adviser when the president was a U.S. senator.
Biden nominated Barron to be U.S. attorney in July, and the Senate Judiciary Committee approved his appointment on Sept. 23.
Jonathan Lenzner has been the acting U.S. attorney since Robert Hur, a Republican, stepped down in February shortly after the Democratic Biden was sworn in to replace Republican former President Donald Trump.
Barron’s smooth confirmation “contrasts to many Trump, and some Biden, executive branch and Justice Department nominees,” said University of Richmond law professor Carl Tobias. Tobias said the committee and Senate floor votes were “testaments to the Senate’s confidence in his experience and qualifications.”
Barron was recommended to the post by Maryland Democratic Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen.
“We are confident that Erek will use his background as both a prosecutor and state legislator to improve public safety in our state and help ensure all Marylanders are treated fairly in the criminal justice system,” the senators said in a joint statement on Friday.