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“Nationals October 2019

Delegate Adrienne Jones becomes Maryland’s next Speaker of the House of Delegates

| May 01, 2019, 03:06 PM

Political drama unfolded this morning in Annapolis as lawmakers struggled with electing a new Speaker of the House of Delegates to replace Michael Busch who passed away on April 7th.

Two weeks ago, it was a three-way race between Delegates Maggie McIntosh, Dereck Davis, and Adrienne Jones. The State party supported Maggie McIntosh. Jones was the Speaker Pro Tem who had been handling the Speaker duties while Speaker Busch was hospitalized.

Last week there was a plot twist when the Republicans (who do not have a chance of electing a Republican speaker) decided to cast their votes as a bloc.  The State Democratic Party chair Maya Rockeymoore Cummings sent out a blistering email warning that any Democrat that would vote for the delegate that the Republicans supported (presumably Dereck Davis) would be punished.

Adrienne Jones withdrew her name from consideration and threw her support to Dereck Davis. The Democratic Black Caucus took offense at the email trying to force their hand to elect a white, gay, female,  and indicated that they too may vote as a bloc in hopes of electing the first black Speaker.  The Democrats were split.

This morning, it looked like Dereck Davis had the votes. The GOP released a statement they would be casting all of their votes for Davis. Coupled with the Black Caucus, this would have given Davis the seat.

However, in a meeting this morning, another plot twist. Rather than ceding some real or perceived control of the Speakership to the Republicans (fearing that Davis might be obligated to them for their votes), they realized that McIntosh was not electable to the position either.  In a stunning move, both the Black Caucus and the Democratic Caucus came to the decision to support current Speaker Pro Tem Adrienne Jones as the next Speaker.

She was sworn in later on the floor.

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