The Baltimore City Democratic Central Committee on Tuesday evening nominated attorney Marlon Amprey to fill an opening in the House of Delegates.
Amprey’s name will be forwarded to Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) as a replacement for former Del. Nick J. Mosby (D), who was sworn in as Baltimore City Council president earlier this month.
From the seven members of the central committee, Amprey received four votes while Joshua Harris, a union official and former legislative aide, received the other three votes.
Committee members deliberated privately for 10 minutes after four hours of interviews and then cast their vote. The committee will send Amprey’s name to Hogan on Wednesday morning, who has 15 days to make the appointment, according to Karenthia Barber, the chair of the executive committee.
The 2021 General Assembly session is due to begin on Jan. 13.
During his 15-minute interview, Amprey highlighted how his experience as a former teacher in the city, his legislative work for the late U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) and his current position as an attorney, made him the best candidate for this position.
“I know what we need for our students, I know what we need to make our government more efficient, and I know what we need for to make our economic system more equitable and to ensure that we have businesses and a thriving community that looks like its citizens,” he said.
Amprey, a third generation resident of the 40th District, underscored that equity would drive his policies. Making sure that the state’s most vulnerable residents, such as those in nursing homes and incarcerated people, have equal access to the COVID-19 vaccine, is critical, he said.
Anticipating that the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to have long economic impacts, Amprey said he supported a home owner relief bill that Del. Vaughn Stewart (D-Montgomery) and Sen. Jill P. Carter (D-Baltimore City) are introducing, which will give homeowners more opportunities to catch up on late mortgage payments.
Amprey also said he would “wholeheartedly support” the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future legislation to ensure equitable education funding across the state and within Baltimore City.
As the only man in his household who has not been incarcerated, Amprey said he supported the ban the box initiative, which makes it illegal for employers to ask applicants if they have a criminal history before making a job offer.
He said he is most interested in serving on the Economic Matters Committee so he can help roll out equitable laws and make sure that business owners look like residents of the 40th District. As a former educator, he said he would also like to serve on the Ways and Means Committee.
Amprey is on the board of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore, which provides extracurricular activities to students after school, as well as a board member of the Code in the Schools, which provides computer science education to students.
Each candidate had 15 minutes to give an opening statement and to answer the following seven questions:
- Please provide policy solutions or initiatives you would propose or support to assist with our COVID-19 recovery?
- While being a legislator is a policy driven position, constituent services are equally as important. Can you describe your constituency service processes from your office?
- What are five projects that you’ve led or that you have participated in that have directly impact the residents of the 40th District?
- How do you envision yourself working with the senator and other delegates in the district?
- What committee you’d like to serve on in the General Assembly and why?
- How many legislative hearings have you attended or what piece of legislation have you actively supported or opposed in the same legislative body?
- What makes you the best candidate for this nomination?
Besides Amprey and Harris, committee members also interviewed 12 other candidates: Janet Allen, Derrick Johnson, Bill Marker, Nancy McCormick, John Moser, Gary Norman, Crystal Jackson Parker, Brian Sims, China Boak Terrell, Westley West, Kathryn Shulman and Sueann Yang.
Parker is a member of the Baltimore City Democratic Central Committee and was able to vote for herself. But instead, she cast her ballot for Harris.
“His interview was outstanding,” she said.
Whomever is selected will hold the seat through early 2023 and must run in the 2022 election if they are interested in serving a full four-year term.
There are currently two other vacancies in Annapolis: One is the seat held by former Sen. Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D) in District 27, which covers parts of Calvert, Charles and Prince George’s counties. Miller announced his resignation last week, citing his poor health as the reason for retirement.
The other is the District 9A seat held by former Del. Warren E. Miller (R), which takes in parts of Howard and Carroll counties.