Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2007

King picked for District 39’s Senate seat

Central committee will forward name to O’Malley, who has 15 days to accept or reject

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Nancy J. King was nominated to succeed Patrick J. Hogan as District 39’s state senator by the Montgomery County Central Committee on Tuesday night.

Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) has 15 days to approve or reject King’s nomination, although the governor’s approval is seen mostly as a formality.

King of Montgomery Village said Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. told her that she would be appointed to the influential Senate Budget and Taxation Committee.

‘‘I’ll be on the Budget and Taxation Committee, on the education subcommittee, which is critical to Montgomery County,” King said, following the vote at the committee’s headquarters in Kensington.

Hogan, who resigned formally last week and is now the University System of Maryland’s top lobbyist, was vice chairman of the budget committee and chairman of its education, business and administration subcommittee. Montgomery leaders had feared that his resignation would mean the county delegation would lose one of its three seats on the powerful committee.

It took two votes for the 23-member central committee to select King, eliminating former delegate Gene W. Counihan, the low vote-getter, in the first vote. King received the required majority on the second vote, getting 13 votes to nine votes for Del. Saqib Ali of Gaithersburg.

Arthur H. Jackson Jr. of North Potomac and Robert J. Tublin of Montgomery Village and Del. Charles E. Barkley of Germantown applied for the post, but later withdrew.

Barkley endorsed King in an e-mail to central committee members on Sunday after announcing his withdrawal.

He said the assurance of Miller (D-Dist. 27) of Chesapeake Beach that King would be appointed to the budget committee factored into his decision.

‘‘The best thing for District 39 and Montgomery County is to have as many people as possible on the front lines of the upcoming budget fight,” Barkley wrote. ‘‘What happens this session will affect my District and the County for many years to come.”

King said Barkley’s endorsement was ‘‘a big factor. He was very classy about the way he did it, too.”

King, 57, is vice president of a family-run engineering consulting firm and a former two-term Montgomery County school board member. She has been a delegate since 2003 and is chairwoman of the education subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee.

If O’Malley appoints King to the Senate, the Central Committee will have to nominate her successor in the House of Delegates.

Kirill Reznik of Germantown, president of the Montgomery County Young Democrats and a member of central committee, and Hugh Bailey of Montgomery Village, who ran unsuccessfully for an at-large seat on the Montgomery County Council last year, have said they would consider applying for the seat.

District 39 includes 110,000 residents of North Potomac, Darnestown, parts of Germantown, unincorporated Gaithersburg and Washington Grove.

The central committee is also in the process of nominating a successor for Del. Marilyn R. Goldwater (D-Dist. 16) of Bethesda, who announced last week that she would resign her seat on Aug. 27.

Both posts will be filled using the same nominating process as with the Senate seat.

Goldwater’s successor will be nominated on Sept. 11 from a field that already includes at least six possible candidates.