Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan will have two choices — Del. Keith Haynes of Baltimore and Del. Charles Sydnor of Catonsville — for filling a seat in the state Senate left vacant by a resignation.
Baltimore City’s Democratic Central Committee picked Haynes on Sunday afternoon to be its nominee to finish the term of Sen. Shirley Nathan-Pulliam, who resigned earlier this month because of health reasons.
Hours later, Baltimore County’s Democratic Central Committee selected Sydnor as its pick to fill the seat.
Nominations were made by both the city and county Democrats, because Nathan-Pulliam’s district — District 44 — includes west-side neighborhoods in both the city and the county.
Haynes, 56, an attorney for the Law Office of Peter Angelos, is a state delegate representing District 44A, which includes the portion of the district that’s in Baltimore City. He was elected to the House of Delegates in 2002 and serves on the Appropriations Committee.
Haynes beat out eight other applicants who were interviewed Sunday afternoon by central committee members. He was the unanimous choice of the six committee members who were present, said Tim Bridges, chairman of the district’s central committee members.
Baltimore County’s central committee members for District 44, meanwhile, chose Sydnor on a split vote Sunday night, according to Sydnor and Haynes.
Sydnor, 45, represents the Baltimore County side of the district, District 44B. He is an attorney who works in affordable housing and community development. He was elected to the House of Delegates in 2014 and serves on the Judiciary Committee.
The central committee members for the Baltimore County portion of the district deadlocked 2-2 on the vote. Sydnor is a member of the committee and said he voted for himself, as did member Sheila Ruth. The other two members, Aisha Khan and Barry Chapman, voted for Haynes.
The central committee’s chairwoman, Tara Ebersole, stepped in to break the tie and voted for Sydnor.
Baltimore County’s bylaws require the full county central committee to ratify the choice of the district members. The ratification vote is scheduled for Tuesday.
Hogan, a Republican, will make the decision on who will finish Nathan-Pulliam’s term, which runs through January 2022.
The governor must choose from among the names put forth by the central committees. Once he officially receives the nominations, he has 15 days to make the appointment.
Haynes said in an interview that he hopes the governor will consider that he had support in both the city and the county.
“It is encouraging from my perspective that we were able to garner unanimously the vote from the city and crossover support from the county,” he said.
Sydnor said he wasn’t surprised at how the process played out.
“I think most of us thought that this was how it was going to go and it would be up to the governor,” he said in an interview. “I’m thankful for the support of members of Baltimore County who recognized the work I have been doing as a delegate. Hopefully the governor will select me to be the next senator and all the good work that we’ve been doing in Baltimore County, I’ll have an opportunity to do for the entire district and my home city, my place of birth, Baltimore.”
Baltimore County’s Democrats also expect to fill a vacancy soon for a state Senate seat in the northwestern part of the county. Sen. Bobby Zirkin announced earlier this month that he plans to resign from his seat in January.
Two state delegates from that district, Del. Shelly Hettleman and Del. Jon Cardin, have said they likely will apply for Zirkin’s seat.