The Anne Arundel County Republican Central Committee this week forwarded the name of attorney Rachel Muñoz to Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) to fill a seat in the House of Delegates representing District 33.
Muñoz was the county GOP’s pick to replace former Del. Michael E. Malone (R), who was just sworn in as a Circuit Court judge. She was selected over half a dozen other candidates who put in for the nomination. Hogan, who has the final say, is expected to ratify the central committee’s selection.
Muñoz, a protégé of District Court Judge Cathy Vitale, who previously held the legislative seat, is an attorney specializing in aviation law.
“I’m so honored to have been entrusted with this responsibility & I plan to work hard to make District 33 proud!” Muñoz wrote in a Facebook post.
Muñoz was supported by several Anne Arundel Republican leaders, including County Councilmember Jessica Haire, a candidate for county executive in 2022, and the District 33 senator, Edward R. Reilly.
Even with her selection, Muñoz is likely to face a competitive Republican primary next year. Two of the candidates who applied for the vacancy, business consultant David Bishop and frequent candidate Tom Angelis, who has run for office in Anne Arundel County as a Republican and a Democrat, have filed to run in the primary.
So has Stacie MacDonald, an attorney and real estate executive who ran for the seat in the 2018 GOP primary. MacDonald endeared herself to some conservatives by helping fund the high-profile lawsuit last year seeking to block Democratic Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman’s ban on in-person dining in county restaurants. Pittman eventually abandoned the policy. She is a self-funder who reported a $207,009 war chest at the start of this year.
College student Tyler J. Bailey has also filed to run for the seat.
The overall political environment in the 33rd District, which as currently drawn includes Severna Park, Millersville, Crofton, Davidsonville and most of the Broadneck peninsula, is up in the air, and could be impacted by how the district lines are redrawn next year. With Muñoz almost certain to be chosen by Hogan, she’ll join Republican Del. Sid A. Saab and Democrat Del. Heather A. Bagnall, who won an upset victory in 2018, in the delegation. Saab is contemplating a run for county executive, though is seen as increasingly unlikely to pursue the bid.
Anne Arundel County Councilmember Andrew C. Pruski (D), who is term limited in 2022, may run for a House seat in District 33, and he would be a strong contender. Some Democrats are also high on Senate candidate Dawn Gile, a lawyer and nonprofit leader, though Reilly is favored for reelection.
Editor’s note: This story was updated to list more candidates who applied for the House seat.