General Assembly Could See First Black Republican Woman

    The Washington County Republican Central Committee on Monday nominated educator Brenda Thiam to fill a vacancy in the House of Delegates. If she is appointed by Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) as expected, Thiam will become the first Black Republican woman to serve in the House of Delegates — and in the General Assembly.

    Brenda Thiam is poised to become the first Black Republican woman in the Maryland General Assembly.

    Thiam was nominated to fill the vacancy in District 2B, centered in Hagerstown, which had been held by Paul D. Corderman (R). He was appointed to the state Senate at the beginning of this month, filling a vacancy that opened when Sen. Andrew Serafini (R) resigned earlier in the summer.

    Thiam, who has a Ph.D in special education and works with children with autism, had been seeking a seat on the Hagerstown City Council in this fall’s election. Republican leaders are already touting the groundbreaking nature of her likely appointment to the House.

    “Tonight is an historic moment for The Maryland Republican Party,” state GOP Chairman Dirk Haire said in a statement.

    House Minority Leader Nicholaus R. Kipke (R-Anne Arundel) said Thiam “brings an endless supply of energy and enthusiasm to our Caucus. She has a strong sense of community and believes in bringing people together to solve the problems we face. Her background in special education will be of tremendous value as we look for ways to improve the education of our children during these times of great upheaval.”

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    Josh Kurtz
    Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading 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 later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.