UPPER MARLBORO — During the midterm general election, new and returning judges and representatives were elected in Prince George’s County.
Six judges of the Prince George’s County Circuit Court, Tiffany Anderson, Robin Bright, Peter Killough, William Snoddy, Sean Wallace and Judy Lynn Woodall, were re-elected to serve in Judicial Circuit 7.
Meanwhile, Judges of the Court of Special Appeals At-Large Donald Beachley and Matthew Fader, as well as Judge of the Court of Special Appeals Melanie Shaw were voted to continue their service each with over 80 percent of the vote.
Wendy Alise Cartwright, Athena Malloy Groves and Vicky L. Ivory-Orem went unopposed in both the primary and general elections in their re-election campaign for Judges of the Orphans’ Court.
Several local positions went unopposed, leaving the winner of the primary elections without a challenger in the general election. After defeating five other candidates during the June primaries with 52.1 percent, Sheriff Melvin C. High confirmed his re-election after his unopposed victory.
Cereta A. Lee was elected for the fourth time as Register of Wills. Lee, who made history in 2006 by becoming the first African-American to hold the position, defeated fellow Democrat Toyin Fasakin in June primaries and did not face a Republican challenger in the general election.
Practicing domestic attorney Mahasin El Amin was confirmed the winner of the Clerk of the Circuit Court position after winning a six-candidate race in the primary and faced no competition in the general. Amin, who will be replacing Council Member-elect Sydney Harrison, said she will looking forward to providing “excellent customer service” for all who enters the court’s office.
In the open District 47 seat in the State Senate, former member of the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMTA) Board and the Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee Malcolm Augustine had a commanding victory over Republican Fred Prince Jr., carrying over 93 percent of the vote.
The district, which was represented by Victor Ramirez for the past eight years, covers several county cities including Adelphi, Langley Park, Chillum, Hyattsville, Riverdale, Bladensburg, Cheverly and Landover. After his Democratic primary victory over Adrian Petrus in June, Augustine tried to use the remaining time before the general election to introduce himself to his “neighbors” and listen to their concerns.
Augustine said he wants his constituency to know that all their issues will be his concerns from the small such as high uncut grass on road medians, to the large, like health care and making the state government accountable.
“When I talked to my neighbors, they felt like their voices were not being heard,” Augustine said. “And what I definitely want to say is that I do care about what they want and what they need. I want to be the voice for the people in District 47 and will continue to listen to them and their needs and work as hard as I can on their behalf.”
While many of the county delegates were re-elected, several newcomers are entering the House of Delegates.
In the District 21 House of Delegates seats, Mary A. Lehman will join Democrats Ben Barnes and Joseline Peña-Melnyk after her serving two terms in the County Council. She will be replacing 24-year Delegate Barbara A. Frush who announced her retirement in Dec. 2017.
Lehman served in the County Council for two terms and spearheaded the Fair Elections bill that passed during the last council session before this year’s general election.
“I am so humbled & grateful to be heading to Annapolis to serve #D21 in the #MDGeneralAssembly,” Lehman said on her campaign Twitter account. “Thank you to residents who cast their vote & for everyone who continues to have faith in our democracy. We returned some balance & sanity yesterday.”
Democrat Ron Watson will be joining incumbent Marvin Holmes Jr. in the House of Delegates as the two representatives for District 23B. Both Democrats were the top vote-getters during the June primaries, defeating five other candidates including incumbent Joseph F. Vallario Jr., and faced no Republican opposition in the general election.
“The general was all about me getting out there and supporting other Democratic nominees and ensuring we had good representation up and down the ticket,” Watson said. “My race was effectively over after the primaries, and I wanted to show my support to the party and be someone that folks can come to when they need support advancing ideas that support our community.”
Watson attempted to run for the position in 2014 but lost in the primaries. However, the Central High School graduate tried again and received the most votes in both elections. As the new representative for the district, Watson said by listening to the people’s concerns, he can manage to “merge” the needs of developing Bowie and rural Upper Marlboro to have “one very effective and successful legislative district.”
Another newcomer to the House of Delegates is Wanika Fisher, who will be serving in District 47B. Bringing her experience as an attorney, Fisher said she wants to bring state government to her district. Focusing on overcrowding, quality of life, criminal justice and economic development, she hopes to give a sense of community to District 47B.
“I’m excited to serve,” she said. “47B is the most diverse district in the state. I represent a huge Latino population, African American and white. It’s really kind of where what I would say, where the three corners meet, D.C and Montgomery County border it and it is a very highly densely populated area that needs a lot of attention and policy.”
Nick Charles will be joining District 25 with Darryl Barnes, who has served as a District 25 delegate since 2015, and Dereck Davis who has been a member of the House of Delegates since 1995.
A Navy veteran, business owner, president of the Forest Spring Community Association Board of Directors in Forestville and lifelong Prince George’s County resident, Charles has a lot of goals for his new position as a delegate such as procurement reform to help small businesses, family law reform such as changing how the state handles custody and reforming policies on how the state assesses home values to increase the value of Prince George’s County homes.
After having known Davis for over ten years and Barnes since 2014 when he first ran against him for delegate, Charles said he has developed a close relationship with both men and looks forward to working with them as well as Senator Melanie Griffith, who he has also worked with in the past.
“A lot of folks typically get out to Annapolis and go straight into it,” Charles said. “It’s going to be a learning curve even though I’ve been out there in supportive fields, it’s a big difference when you’re out there 24/7, so it’s definitely going to be a good learning experience and I’m definitely looking forward to soaking it all in and being the best legislator I can for my district.”
Julian Ivey will be entering as a District 47A delegate with re-elected Diana Fennell who has been in the position since 2014.
Continuing her position, Fennell said she plans to put a lot of effort into improving education and making sure tax dollars go back into the community as well as maintaining a clean environment. Her biggest push since the beginning of her first term has been fighting for a $15 minimum wage throughout the state.
“I was the co-sponsor last year for the Fight for 15, but I am now the driver, and my main goal is to make sure we give $15 an hour to our citizens of the great state of Maryland because, you know, people can’t even pay their rent, their light bill, they have to work two jobs to make ends meet. I’m hoping that this $15 an hour bill that I put in this year will help our Marylanders survive,” she said.
As for her new partner in District 47A, she said she is excited to begin working with Ivey to bring change to the state.
“I’m looking forward to working with Julian,” Fennell said. “He is a young man, a bright, energetic young man. I look forward to working with Julian. I’m happy, and I’m very proud of him as a young male in winning and helping him represent and bring another voice to Annapolis.”