Maryland House speaker race draws close as lawmakers choose a new leader for special session

Maryland speaker's race a first: won't be a white man
Posted at 8:13 AM, May 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-01 09:18:25-04

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland lawmakers are choosing a new speaker of the House, and for the first time it won't be a white man.

A one-day special session is scheduled in Annapolis on Wednesday.

Del. Maggie McIntosh, a white lesbian progressive Democrat from Baltimore, is running against Del. Dereck Davis, a black Democrat from Prince George's County.

It's been a close race in an unusually public contest that generally has been settled for decades in private conversations between legislators before the final public vote.

The winner needs a majority of votes in the chamber, which has 98 Democrats and 42 Republicans.

They'll be choosing a successor to Michael Busch, the longest-serving House speaker in the state's history. He died the day before the annual legislative session ended April 8.