Maryland lawmakers selected one of their own, Del. Dereck Davis, to serve as the state’s next treasurer.
During a special joint session of the Senate and House of Delegates on Thursday, Davis was the overwhelming choice to succeed Nancy K. Kopp, who is retiring as treasurer this month after nearly 20 years in the job.
Davis, a Democrat from Prince George’s County, said he was “overwhelmed” by being selected and honored for the opportunity.
The treasurer is one of the state’s top financial officers, responsible for overseeing the government’s finances, including investments and pension funds. The treasurer also serves on the state’s Board of Public Works, a three-member body that approves state contracts and activities on state-owned lands and in public waterways.
The treasurer is elected by the General Assembly to four-year terms and is expected to represent the legislature’s interests in financial matters. Davis will serve the remainder of Kopp’s term, due to expire in early 2023.
The House of Delegates and state Senate voted by secret ballot simultaneously, then the Senate’s ballots were walked over to the House, where the clerk read the votes one at a time. Almost all were for Davis, save for a few, including one vote for “Let’s Go Brandon,” a slogan used as a coded insult of President Joe Biden.
Maryland Policy & Politics
Davis has had a long career in the legislature, winning his first election to the House of Delegates in 1994 at age 27. In 2003, he was appointed chairman of the Economic Matters Committee, which handles laws affecting businesses and utilities, as well as liquor laws.
In 2019, Davis campaigned to become the speaker of the House following the death of longtime Speaker Michael E. Busch. He had the support of the Legislative Black Caucus, a powerful voting bloc, but planned to rely on Republican votes as well, which did not sit well with many Democrats. Ultimately Davis withdrew and threw his support behind the winner, current Speaker Adrienne A. Jones.
When he was called up to the speaker’s dais to give his speech, Davis made a quip that perhaps recalled that battle: “So this is what it looks like from up here.”
In his speech, Davis recited a long list of thanks, from the legislative staff to the members of various caucuses in the legislature.
He asked members of the Appropriations Committee to treat him kindly when he comes back as treasurer to ask for his staff’s budget.
When Kopp announced her retirement this fall, Davis was one of four candidates to apply for the position. A bipartisan panel of lawmakers interviewed candidates in a public video meeting and voted unanimously to recommend Davis to the full General Assembly.
Outside of the legislature, Davis has worked as deputy director of the Prince George’s County Office of Community Relations since 2011. He was raised in Prince George’s County and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Maryland, College Park.