SEABROOK – Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced on Nov. 15 that he would appoint attorney Nicole Williams to the vacant delegate role for District 24 following the resignation of Tawanna Gaines.
Hogan appointed Williams following the unanimous recommendations by the Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee (PGCDCC) on Oct. 29.
“I am confident that Nicole Williams will represent the citizens of Prince George’s County admirably in her new role as state delegate,” Hogan said. “I offer Ms. Williams my sincere congratulations and look forward to working with her in the upcoming legislative session.”
Following Hogan’s announcement, Williams thanked the governor for appointing her as the new delegate. Williams is an attorney at Rees Broome PC, which is based out of Tysons Corner and has served on the PGCDCC.
“I am so honored and excited to have received the appointment today from Governor Hogan to serve in the Maryland House of Delegates to represent District 22,” Williams said in a post on her Twitter account.
She ran for one of the three delegates seats for District 22 during the Democratic primary elections on June 26, 2018. In a five-person race, Williams finished in fourth place with 4,761 votes but missed out on participating in the general election.
Under state law, Hogan selected a new delegate after receiving a recommendation from the PGCDCC. The filing deadline for candidates interested in running for the rule was Oct. 24. Williams and Chike Croslin, an attorney and Hyattsville resident, were the only two candidates selected to participate in a public hearing with the Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee on Oct. 29.
Williams received unanimous vote of approval, which included letters of recommendation from members of the local community and current politicians.
“Ms. Williams will be an outstanding representative for District 22,” Woodlawn Community Association President Ina Fells said in an endorsement letter on Oct. 18. “She will advocate for the main issues which are critically important to many of us, including smaller classroom sizes, effective teach retention strategies and increased funding for school construction.”
The selection of a new delegate comes after Gaines, who served as a delegate since 2001, resigned after being charged on one count of wire fraud.
According to federal prosecutors, Gaines used an undisclosed PayPal account to collect campaign donations sent online and use the funds for personal uses. Purchases include a pool cover, dental work, an Amazon Fire TV Stick and an Amazon Prime membership.
On Oct. 11, Gaines pled guilty in open court and agreed to pay back those who donated to the campaign digitally approximately $22,000 over a period of three years. While the prosecution and the defense agreed to a recommended sentence of eight to 14 months in prison but she is eligible for the maximum 20-year sentence, according to a news release.
“I take full responsibility for what I did,” Gaines said after her court appearance on Oct. 11. Gaines is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 3.
Williams will join District 22 delegates Anne Healey (D) and Alonzo T. Washington (D) as part of the Prince George’s County delegation once state lawmakers reconvene for the 2020 general assembly session on Jan. 8. According to her campaign page, Williams will be sworn in on Dec. 7.