Meet the freshmen: New faces join Maryland General Assembly for special session

Four women are the newest members of the House of Delegates. Clockwise from top left: Del. Faye Martin Howell (D-Prince George’s), Del. Cheryl S. Landis (D-Prince George’s), Del. Rachel Muñoz (R-Anne Arundel), and Del. Roxane Prettyman (D-Baltimore City). (Courtesy Maryland General Assembly)

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Since the General Assembly adjourned in April, four new lawmakers have been appointed to the House of Delegates. They will be among the 187 lawmakers to undertake the congressional redistricting process, election of a new state treasurer, and consideration of veto overrides. (One vacancy remains in the House of Delegates, where Linda Foley, a Democrat, was nominated by the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee last week to fill a vacancy in District 15.)

Get to know the freshmen in the House and Senate for the upcoming legislative session:

Sen. Ronald L. Watson (D-Prince George’s) is not a new face in the legislature, as he has been a delegate since 2019. But he is new  to the Senate, where he was appointed by Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) in August to replace former Sen. Douglas J.J. Peters (D), who was appointed to the University System of Maryland Board of Regents.

Watson, a 15-year U.S. Army veteran, owns a company that provides consulting services for the Department of Defense, among other agencies. He formerly served on the Prince George’s County school board.

As a delegate, Watson served on the House Judiciary Committee and he joins the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.

Del. Cheryl Landis (D-Prince George’s), the former chair of the Prince George’s Democratic Central Committee, was appointed to replace Watson in the House of Delegates to represent District 23B in October.

Landis worked for nearly three decades for the Prince George’s County Public Schools system as executive administrative officer for the Board of Education and strategic business partnerships specialist, before retiring in 2016. Landis was then the education coordinator to former Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D).

She will sit on the House Health & Government Operations Committee.

Del. Faye Martin Howell (D-Prince George’s) was the treasurer of the Prince George’s Democratic Central Committee and worked as an information technology specialist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for more than 30 years. She is also a retired mathematics teacher for Prince George’s County Public Schools.

Howell was selected to replace former Del. Erek Barron, who was appointed by President Biden to become Maryland’s first Black U.S. attorney.

Howell was recently assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.

Del. Rachel Muñoz (R-Anne Arundel) is an attorney specializing in aviation law. She received her J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law. In her first year of law school, Muñoz was an intern for Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Cathy Vitale, who previously held the legislative seat.

Muñoz studied psychology and philosophy at the University of Maryland, College Park. She was raised in Severna Park, where she and her husband now raise four children.

Muñoz, who represents District 33, will serve on the Ways & Means Committee.

Del. Roxane Prettyman (D-Baltimore City) grew up in Baltimore’s Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood and serves as community outreach and engagement director of First Mount Calvary Baptist Church and on other community boards.

A member of the Baltimore City Democratic State Central Committee since 2015, she was appointed in August to represent District 44A. Prettyman replaces former Del. Keith Haynes (D), who retired with little explanation in July.

In addition to her community activism, Prettyman was a paralegal specialist for the U.S. Social Security Administration for 39 years before retiring in 2018. She has been an active member of the Baltimore City Democratic State Central Committee since 2015.

Prettyman will be on the Environment & Transportation Committee.

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