Aide to Del. Wanika Fisher Announces Bid to Replace Her in House

    A community liaison for Del. Wanika B. Fisher (D-Prince George’s), who is leaving the General Assembly to run for county council, will seek to replace her.

    Marlin Jenkins, a union lawyer and lieutenant colonel in the Maryland Army National Guard, announced his candidacy on Wednesday.

    Marlin Jenkins. Campaign photo.

    He works for Fisher’s delegate office on a volunteer basis, helping to handle constituent issues and attending community meetings.

    Jenkins also recently served as deputy for the Maryland Vaccine Equity Task Force, helping to coordinate vaccine clinics in Maryland.

    “I have been fighting on the frontlines, and I will continue to be that fighter and advocate in Annapolis for all community members of District 47B,” Jenkins said in a campaign announcement. “The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted many inequities in our community.”

    Jenkins said he coordinated 237 vaccination events and more than 68,000 vaccinations in Prince George’s County, while also helping the immigrant rights group CASA secure funding to expand COVID-19 vaccinations efforts.

    As community liaison during the pandemic, Jenkins said he also helped constituents with housing issues and to qualify for an expanded state earned income tax credit.

    “In Annapolis, I am prepared to continue the legacy of collaborative leadership with elected leaders on every level of government to ensure equitable gains can be achieved for District 47B community members,” Jenkins said in the announcement.

    He also volunteered in Annapolis during the 2017 legislative session for then-Sen. Roger Manno, a Montgomery County Democrat who represented District 19.

    In 2018, Jenkins ran unsuccessfully for a House seat in that district, finishing fifth in the eight-person Democratic primary.

    Jenkins has since moved to Hyattsville with his wife and young daughter. He works as director of national collective bargaining and online education for the American Federation of Government Employees.

    Jenkins is not the only potential candidate to replace Fisher, who announced in June she would step down.

    Fisher is seeking the open 2nd District council seat, which is being vacated by Councilmember Deni L. Taveras (D), who is termed out. She’ll face former state Sen. Victor R. Ramirez in the Democratic primary.

    Taveras, meanwhile, is advertising for a campaign manager and field director and has updated her website to promote a 2022 run for General Assembly.

    A policy analyst and urban planner, Taveras has served on the county council since 2014.

    During a brief phone interview Wednesday evening, Taveras said she is “taking care of business and finishing what we started” with her delegate run.

    Taveras also highlighted her long tenure in the eastern Prince George’s County district, saying she was concerned “that we have an individual moving into the community for the reason of running” for office.

    The councilwoman said she would be focusing her campaign on her “amazing track record” in office.

    It isn’t clear yet whether the 47B subdistrict will remain intact following the upcoming round of legislative redistricting or whether all three delegates from District 47 will be elected together in one district. The subdistrict was drawn with the idea of sending a Latino to the House, but it has been represented by Fisher, who is Black and Indian-American, since 2019.

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    Danielle E. Gaines
    Danielle Gaines covered government and politics for Maryland Matters for two years before moving into an editing position. Previously, she spent six years at The Frederick News-Post ― as the paper’s principal government and politics reporter for half that time, covering courts and legal affairs before that. She also reported for the now-defunct The Gazette of Politics and Business in Maryland and previously worked as a county government and education reporter at The Merced Sun-Star in California’s Central Valley.