State Sen. Victor Ramirez (D) is poised to enter the race for Prince George’s County state’s attorney, according to multiple sources — setting off a scramble to replace him in Annapolis.
Ramirez has printed campaign literature, T-shirts and other paraphernalia and is likely to announce his plans at the District 47 Democratic Club summer picnic on Sept. 9, the sources said. Ramirez’ campaign website is already touting his race for state’s attorney.
Ramirez’s decision to run puts him on a collision course with former Del. Aisha Braveboy (D), who has been in the race for several months and has essentially been running for the state’s attorney job since losing the Democratic primary for attorney general in 2014. The incumbent state’s attorney, Angela Alsobrooks (D), is running for Prince George’s County executive in 2018.
Ramirez, 43, was born in El Salvador and moved to Prince George’s County with his family at a young age. He runs a storefront law practice in Hyattsville, and was elected to the House of Delegates in 2002, becoming the first Latino man to serve in the legislature. In 2010, he ousted appointed Sen. David Harrington in the Democratic primary to win the first of his two Senate terms.
Through mid-January, Ramirez had $79,000 in his campaign account. Braveboy reported $27,000 on hand.
The 47th District, wholly inside the Capital Beltway and largely along the Washington, D.C., line, takes in portions of Hyattsville and Landover along with Bladensburg, Adelphi, Langley Park and Cheverly. It is divided into two subdistricts, one with two House members and the other with one.
Initially, it appeared as if Del. Jimmy Tarlau (D) would have the upper hand when it comes to replacing Ramirez in the Senate. Tarlau has knocked on thousands of doors in the district since joining the legislature in 2015 and before that as a member of the Mt. Rainier City Council. He also had $56,000 in the bank early this year.
But Tarlau, according to sources, concluded that Prince George’s County already has too many majority-minority districts represented by white senators, and filed for re-election instead. His fellow delegate in District 47A, Diane Fennell (D), has also filed for re-election.
Malcolm Augustine, a marketing executive who was appointed to serve on the Washington Metro board by County Executive Rushern Baker (D), filed for Ramirez’s Senate seat late last month. Augustine finished fourth in the five-way Democratic House primary in District 47A in 2014.
Wanika Fisher, an assistant state’s attorney in Prince George’s who has worked for Ramirez and for former Del. Jolene Ivey (D), was also gearing up to run for Senate. But it now appears likely that, as local leaders push to ensure that a Latino continues to hold the Senate seat, Fisher will defer to Del. Carlo Sanchez (D) and instead run for Sanchez’s House seat.
Sanchez was appointed to fill the District 47B House vacancy in 2015, when then-Del. Will Campos (D) resigned (Campos has since been indicted in a scandal involving the county liquor board).
Augustine reported $21,000 in his campaign account as of mid-January. Sanchez had about $9,000.