Prince George’s County General Assembly Endorsements

Original Source | By: Gazette

District 22
Includes Greenbelt, Berwyn Heights, Hyattsville, New Carrollton, North Brentwood, Riverdale and University Park

House of Delegates (three seats)

Democratic primary

Incumbents Tawanna Gaines and Alonzo Washington, along with newcomer Rushern Baker IV, get the nod from The Gazette.

Gaines fully funded the Artsworks Project in Hyattsville and was the lead sponsor in obtaining funding for Riverdale’s Welcome Center, a New Carrollton park and Greenbelt’s Historic Theater. She also helped municipalities receive $10 million in grants to aid in street and highway repairs.

Washington successfully pushed legislation to study the impact of access on special education students. For the next term, he identifies investing around the Greenbelt Metro and investing in more cybersecurity jobs as his top priorities.

Baker, son of the county executive, is a newcomer but has a strong background in community advocacy. He gets a slight edge over incumbent Anne Healey, who wasn’t as productive this last session.

District 23

Includes Bowie and Upper Marlboro


Democratic primary

With 16 years of experience in elected offices, incumbent Doug Peters remains a strong leader for the district and is the best choice for voters in this race. Peters backs the Purple Line and supports the widening of U.S. Route 301 to address congestion. Peters has delivered for his district by securing funding for the Bowie Fire House and the South Bowie Library, and has proved himself willing to address controversial issues, such as gaming. He has maintained a strong focus on veterans and education issues, as well.

District 23B

House of Delegates (two seats)

Democratic primary

While incumbent Joseph Vallario brings nearly 40 years of experience, he lacks new ideas for his district and appears to rest on his laurels.

Incumbent Marvin Holmes Jr., conversely, has fought for minority businesses and plans to continue efforts to increase school and business assistance.

Ron Watson, a former school board member, wants to continue aiding schools and has strategies to bring in money, such as allowing advertisements on school buses. He prioritizes attracting and retaining businesses.

Watson and Holmes are the choices to represent District 23B.

District 24

Includes Capitol Heights, Fairmount Heights, Glenarden and Seat Pleasant


Democratic primary

Incumbent Joanne Benson continues to work toward enhancing her district and is the best option in the primary. For her next term, Benson wants to get a new school in Fairwood, a community just outside Bowie city limits, and build a new Suitland High School. Additionally, enhancing funding and creating incentives to attract economic development around Metro stations near the Boulevard at the Capital Centre and Suitland are other main goals. Continuing to establish the Health Enterprise Zone, Benson seeks to establish more health care clinics and offer tax credits to businesses that relocate in the zone.

Delegates (three seats)

Democratic primary

Although 10 challengers are running in the District 24 delegate race, only a few rise to the top based on their knowledge of the district’s needs, their experience and their records of achievement — with attorney Erek Barron and incumbent Dels. Carolyn J.B. Howard and Michael L. Vaughn being the best of the bunch.

Barron, a former prosecutor for the county state’s attorney’s office and the U.S. Department of Justice, is also well known for his community efforts, which include extensive efforts to improve legal aid for low-income residents. He’s in touch with the challenges facing the county, such as foreclosures, and has solid ideas to address them.

Howard and Vaughn both bring experience that is sure to continue serving the county well in Annapolis, with Howard being a strong consensus-builder, and Vaughn being an advocate for small and minority businesses.

Barron, Howard and Vaughn earn The Gazette’s endorsement.

District 25

Includes District Heights and Morningside


It’s time for a new leader in District 25, and Melony Griffith has earned the right to take the helm.

While incumbent Ulysses Currie was found not guilty in the 2011 bribery trial in which he was accused of using his influence as a senator to obtain benefits for a grocery store, he was later censured due to ethical concerns.

Griffith, a delegate since 1999, is focused on children, schools and infrastructure in her district, and is well respected in Annapolis (she was selected to serve as delegation chairwoman from 2008 to 2012).

Griffith will help restore confidence in the post and is the clear choice in District 25.

Delegates (three seats)

Democratic primary

Businessman Darryl Barnes, incumbent Dereck E. Davis and education and social service policy specialist Angela Angel get The Gazette endorsement in District 25.

Barnes, well known for his efforts to assist youths — to include founding the nonprofit Men Aiming Higher, which focuses on helping at-risk young men — has earned the opportunity to take his many community efforts to the state level.

Davis has represented Prince George’s well in Annapolis and listens to residents as he crafts legislation. As chairman of the House Economic Matters Committee, he has shown solid state leadership, while remaining in touch with Prince George’s needs.

Angel brings a strong background in constituent services from having worked on political campaigns and for a Virginia delegate. She is focused on aiding families, such as expanding childcare options and pushing for economic growth.

While only three delegates can be selected, Nick Charles is a promising newcomer who is sure to be a player in county politics. He brings a fresh voice, focusing on neighborhood-level issues that are often overlooked; however, he’s facing strong opponents who bring a lot to the race.

District 26

Includes Clinton, Forest Heights, Fort Washington and Oxon Hill


Democratic primary

In his previous term, incumbent C. Anthony Muse brought back funding for a new Oxon Hill High School, Avalon Elementary and Crossland High School auditorium. Additionally, he was able to get a bill approved to provide tax credits for seniors whose rent is more than 50 percent of their income. For his next term, Muse said he wants to keep a close eye on the pending casino at National Harbor and work to get more minority small businesses involved in the gaming center. Getting more funding for Md. Route 210 is a priority and Muse also wants to revisit minimum wage pay for employees who rely on tips to increase their hourly rates. Muse faces strong challengers but his accomplishments in office give him the edge. Muse gets the nod for another term.

Delegates (three seats)

Democratic primary

Attorney Tamara Davis Brown and incumbents Kris Valderrama and Jay Walker have backgrounds in bringing positive change to their communities, earning them The Gazette endorsement.

Valderrama has focused heavily on education and public safety, pushing successfully this past session to toughen the penalty for making a threat of mass violence. She remains in touch with the needs of her district, such as advocating for rail in southern Prince George’s.

Brown has long been a community advocate and has a record of bringing results, such as her push for increased police patrols in her district. She has been a vocal force on foreclosures and has plans to address the needs of homeowners. She’s proved to be a fighter for her community.

Jay Walker remains focused on education, public safety and infrastructure improvements. He is an advocate for increasing mass transit in his district and remains engaged in school issues.

Newcomer David Sloan has been a strong community advocate and organizer with good ideas for the district, however, he is running at a time when experience is needed (especially with the planned casino in the district). He’s a good candidate but is running at a bad time.

District 27B

Includes Brandywine, Cheltenham and Upper Marlboro

Delegates (one seat)

Democratic primary

LaRhonda Owens, a compliance supervisor in Prince George’s County Public Schools Department of Special Education, brings a record of community activism and a strong focus on smart growth and education funding. She is pushing for a focus on transit projects and improvements for pedestrians. Her fresh perspective and family focus earns her The Gazette’s endorsement.

Republican primary

Toni Jarboe-Duly gets the nod for District 27B, as she is in tune with the district’s needs and brings a strong business background. The former Prince George’s clerk of circuit court is focused on improving transportation in southern Maryland, a dire need in the district, and reducing taxes for residents and businesses.

District 47

Includes Bladensburg, Brentwood, Cheverly, Colmar Manor, Cottage City, Edmonston, Landover Hills and Mount Rainier


Democratic primary

Victor Ramirez has consistently sought to address the needs of his constituents and should be elected to another term. Ramirez has been an advocate for education and was the lead sponsor of the Maryland DREAM Act, which provided an in-state tuition discount for undocumented college students. Ramirez has been a force for distressed homeowners and a staunch backer of victims’ rights. Concerning the environment, Ramirez sponsored the creation of green business incentive zones and a pilot program on community renewable energy generating systems.

District 47A

Delegates (two seats)

Democratic primary

Mount Rainier Councilman Jimmy Tarlau and Hyattsville Councilman Joseph Solomon are the best selections for this district.

Tarlau offers clear strategies on priorities such as providing more state aid for education, offering tax relief to senior citizens on fixed incomes and adjusting the tax code to eliminate loopholes for companies headquartered in other states.

Solomon supports a tax abatement effort for new development projects on the state level. Additionally, Solomon seeks to create more employment training programs for more high-tech jobs.

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