The Legislative Black Caucus held leadership elections on the final day of the legislative session and three of four incumbents were defeated.
Del. Darryl Barnes (D-Prince George’s), the caucus chairman, was the only incumbent member of the executive team to win re-election ― and he won by a single vote over his challenger, Del. Edith J. Patterson (D-Charles).
In the other races:
― Del. Melissa Wells (D-Baltimore City) defeated 1st vice chairman Del. Benjamin T. Brooks (D-Baltimore County);
― Del. Gabriel Acevero (D-Montgomery) knocked off 2nd vice chairman Del. Debra Davis (D-Charles); and
― Del. Ron Watson (D-Prince George’s County) defeated Sen. Arthur Ellis (D-Charles) in the race for treasurer.
Del. Mike Rogers (D-Anne Arundel), the financial secretary, and Secretary Del. Charlotte Crutchfield (D-Montgomery) were re-elected. They were unchallenged.
“What you saw was a desire for new and fresh leadership,” said Acevero. “And you saw a desire to step up and serve by the freshmen cohort.”
Acevero said Barnes reached out immediately to offer congratulations. The black caucus will conduct “listening tours” around the state to “ensure we’re delivering for our constituency,” the new 1st vice chair said.
Said Barnes: “I am just happy to have received the support of my colleagues to continue to lead this 58-member caucus.”