Central Committees Moving Closer to Filling Miller Vacancies in Annapolis

    With the opening of the General Assembly session fast approaching, two legislative seats once held by veteran lawmakers named Miller remain vacant ― one in the state Senate, the other in the House of Delegates.

    The House seat will probably be filled before the Senate vacancy.

    The Republican central committees of Howard and Carroll counties could forward a recommendation to Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) to replace former Del. Warren E. Miller (R) by week’s end. Miller resigned on Dec. 31 after 17 years in the House.

    Because District 9A, which Miller represented, takes in two counties, the GOP central committees of both have a say in his replacement.

    Steven H. Wilson, the Howard County GOP chairman, announced Monday night that his central committee would vote to nominate a replacement on Wednesday evening. The Carroll County vote is scheduled for Thursday evening.

    Nine Republicans applied for the vacancy, including Carroll County Commissioner C. Eric Bouchat; Allison Cordell, Hogan’s deputy legislative director; and Reid J. Novotny, a colonel in the Maryland Air National Guard who ran unsuccessfully for state Senate in 2018 and is Miller’s choice to replace him.

    If the two central committees recommend the same replacement, Hogan almost automatically will select that person. If the GOP committees advance different names, Hogan will choose among the two.

    That’s the same scenario in District 27, where legendary Sen. Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) retired in December after 47 years on the job. Del. Michael A. Jackson (D-Prince George’s) is considered the frontrunner to replace Miller, but the Democratic central committees of Prince George’s, Calvert and Charles counties get to interview applicants and vote on potential replacements.

    In Charles County, the filing deadline for candidates interested in replacing Miller in the Senate is Thursday. The central committee is scheduled to meet on Sunday at 4 p.m.

    The filing deadline in Prince George’s is also this Thursday, with the central committee set to meet next Monday evening. In Calvert, the filing deadline is also Thursday, and the central committee will meet to discuss the vacancy on Saturday evening.

    If Jackson is selected to replace Miller, an appointment process will commence to fill his House seat.

    Dozens of senators and delegates in the 188-member General Assembly initially took their seats after appointments rather than winning an election.

    When the legislature is fully seated this year, the Senate will have two members who were not serving in the chamber last year and the House will have four new members ― five if Jackson is elevated to the Senate.

    The Baltimore City Democratic Central Committee recently advanced the name of attorney Marlon Amprey to Hogan to replace former Del. Nick J. Mosby — now the city council president — in District 40. Hogan has yet to make the appointment official.

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    Josh Kurtz
    Founding Editor Josh Kurtz is a veteran chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He was an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, for eight years, and for eight years was the editor of E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill. For 6 1/2 years Kurtz wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz regularly gives speeches and appears on TV and radio shows to discuss Maryland politics.