In a voice vote Thursday night, state Del. Erek L. Barron (D-Prince George’s) won U.S. Senate confirmation to become U.S. attorney for Maryland, two months after he was nominated by President Biden.
Barron will become the first Black U.S. attorney in state history.
Barron is a partner at the Washington, D.C., law firm of Whiteford Taylor & Preston LLP, and has represented District 24 in the House of Delegates since 2015.
He worked for Biden from 2007 to 2009 as his counsel and policy adviser to Biden on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs. Barron was also co-chair of the group Marylanders for Biden, which formed early in the 2020 presidential election campaign.
Barron has worked as a federal prosecutor in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and as a prosecutor at the Prince George’s County and Baltimore City state’s attorney’s offices.
Maryland’s two U.S. senators, Benjamin L. Cardin (D) and Chris Van Hollen (D), who recommended Barron to Biden, hailed the confirmation vote Thursday night.
“We are confident that Erek will use his background as both a prosecutor and state legislator to improve public safety in our state and help ensure all Marylanders are treated fairly in the criminal justice system,” the senators said in a statement. “We look forward to working closely with Erek on many issues of mutual concern once he is sworn into his new office.”
Jonathan Lenzner has been serving as acting U.S. attorney since February, when Robert K. Hur, who held the job during the Trump administration, resigned.
Barron’s looming departure from the legislature means there will be another vacancy in the House of Delegates, which Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) will fill after receiving a recommendation from the Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee.
On Wednesday, Hogan appointed Cheryl S. Landis, a former educator and chair of the Prince George’s Democrats, to fill the House vacancy in District 23B, which came open when then-Del. Ronald L. Watson was appointed to the state Senate. When Landis is sworn in, she’ll become the 33rd member of the House of Delegates who was originally appointed to their seat. This is about one-quarter of the 141-member chamber.