Delegate Susan Lee (D) made her plans to take over the District 16 state senate seat being vacated by Brian Frosh official on Tuesday with a press release.
Lee, who has served in the General Assembly since 2002, filed her candidacy last week after Frosh announced he will run for attorney general.
“In the state senate, I will continue to work hard, get results, and be a strong and effective advocate for the people of District 16, Montgomery County, and Maryland. I want to ensure that we move forward as the leader in education, affordable college, clean environment, quality health care, public safety, transportation, and emerging technologies and jobs that will sustain us for the future,” Lee said in the release.
The 59-year-old Bethesda resident and attorney was the first Asian American woman and first Chinese American to be elected to the Maryland legislature.
She is a Deputy Majority Whip and the vice chair of the Montgomery County House Delegation in Annapolis, and she’s getting early support from Jamie Raskin (D-Dist. 20), the chair of the county’s senate delegation.
“As a Delegate, Susan Lee has been a dependable champion for the policies that make Montgomery County a great place to live — a healthy environment and excellent schools for our kids, transportation investment, and civil rights and liberties for all Marylanders. I look forward to this exciting new phase of her honorable career in public service,” Raskin said in the press release.
As a member of the House Judiciary Committee and a civil rights/intellectual property lawyer, Lee has taken a major interest in laws that prevent identity theft and human trafficking.
She authored the Maryland Security Freeze law, meant to prevent identity theft through pretexting. In the 2013 General Assembly, she shepherded through two human trafficking bills: one that prevents defendants charged with trafficking offenses involving a minor to use the defense that they didn’t know the victim was a minor and another that provides the proceeds seized during human trafficking cases to be distributed to victims of the crimes through a fund.
“Susan Lee is an effective legislator who has a track record of passing laws to deter crimes against the elderly, women, children and families,” Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy said in the press release. “She is also a recognized leader on cyber security, identity theft, and consumer protection issues and has ensured that Maryland, while benefiting from cutting edge technology, is able to keep pace with and protect our citizens against some of the most sophisticated crimes.”
Lee doesn’t yet have any opponents for the senate seat, but many District 16 political observers expect other candidates — whether it’s attorney and former County Council staff member Reggie Oldak (who lost a bid for delegate in 2006) or another candidate who can raise big money in a hurry or self-finance a campaign.
Kyle Lierman, who narrowly lost out on a House of Delegates seat in the 2010 election, has been mentioned as a possibility. Lierman is the son of Terry Lierman, the chief of staff House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, and was able to draw on Democratic donors from around the country for his 2010 run.