Baltimore County Dems Advance 2 for House Vacancies

    Towson community activist Catherine Forbes is almost certainly headed to the House of Delegates.

    Baltimore County Democrats moved Wednesday night to fill two vacancies in the House of Delegates, tapping Carl Jackson to replace former Del. Eric Bromwell in the 8th District and Catherine Forbes to replace former Del. Steven W. Lafferty in District 42A.

    Officially, the members of the Baltimore County Democratic Central Committee from those two districts made recommendations to the full central committee, which is scheduled to ratify them at a meeting next Tuesday. Barring unforeseen developments, Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) would then formally make the appointments based on the central committee’s recommendations.

    The two seats became vacant when Baltimore County Executive John A. Olszewski Jr. (D) tapped Lafferty and Bromwell for high-level posts in his administration. Both former lawmakers resigned earlier this month.

    Carl Jackson had the backing of most Democratic insiders for the House of Delegates vacancy in the 8th District.

    Jackson, a 34-year-old financial analyst at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, was the overwhelming favorite to be tapped to replace Bromwell. He ran for the House last year, finishing 570 votes out of the money in the general election, and was already gearing up to try again in 2022. He had been endorsed by Bromwell, Olszewski and several other high-ranking Democrats for the vacancy.

    Assuming he’s appointed, Jackson will become the first African-American to represent District 8, traditionally a blue-collar suburban district.

    In a brief Facebook statement, Jackson said he was honored to be selected, and he paid tribute to Nina McHugh, a member of the central committee who also sought the House seat. He vowed to work on a Foster Child Bill of Rights in the legislature – McHugh’s top priority.

    Forbes, a longtime Towson community and education advocate, prevailed over three opponents, including Henry Callegary, an attorney and president of the Baltimore County Young Democrats. Cheryl Gottlieb, a health care and disability rights activist, and Jessica Klaitman, a social worker and community activist, also sought the seat.

    “I am honored and humbled,” Forbes said in a Facebook post. “Those voting credited the enormous support I received from literally every neighborhood in the district. I can’t thank all of you enough for the letters of support you sent to the committee on my behalf. They listened. And soon, they will hear all of us in Annapolis!”

    Callegary was gracious in defeat.

    “While I’m obviously disappointed, Cathi will be one hell of an advocate for our entire District,” he wrote on Facebook. “I sincerely cannot wait to work with her to fight for Towson.”

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    Josh Kurtz
    Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.

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