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Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) announced Tuesday morning that he has appointed Del. Kathleen M. Dumais, vice chair of the House Economic Matters Committee, to be a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge.
Dumais (D-Montgomery) is one of four appointees to the county’s circuit court bench named Tuesday morning. The others, who will fill current and upcoming Montgomery County Circuit Court vacancies, are: current District Court Judge Carlos Federico Acosta, Montgomery County Deputy Public Defender Theresa Chernosky, and civil litigator Rachel McGuckian.
“It is my pleasure to appoint these distinguished individuals to serve in our state’s judicial system,” Hogan said in a statement. “Montgomery County’s Circuit Court is gaining an immensely talented and principled group of judges who will honorably serve the citizens of Maryland in the years to come.”
Dumais’ appointment is the latest in a series of potentially transformative changes in the House of Delegates. Del. Dereck E. Davis (D-Prince George’s), the chair of Economic Matters, has announced his intention to apply for state treasurer, following the retirement announcement of long-time Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp (D). He is considered the overwhelming favorite to fill the post.
Last week, Del. Anne R. Kaiser (D-Montgomery) announced that she is stepping down as chair of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, though she plans to serve at the remainder of her term. She cast doubt on her reelection plans for 2022, however.
Dumais, who is 63, was elected to the House in 2002 and has also served as majority leader in the chamber and vice chair of the Judiciary Committee. She previously told Maryland Matters one of the reasons she decided to apply for a judgeship now is the knowledge that the judicial retirement age in Maryland is 70, meaning she won’t have too many more opportunities to serve.
When Dumais formally resigns, it will kick off a succession process that includes the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee nominating a candidate to fill the House vacancy, with Hogan having the final say on an appointment.
Linda Foley, the chair of the central committee and a veteran labor activist, said she plans to apply for the position. Former Del. Saqib Ali (D-Montgomery), who represented the adjacent District 39 in the House from 2007 to 2011, is running for the District 15 seat and may put in for the vacancy as well. Last month, leaders of the Muslim Council of Montgomery County wrote to the central committee calling Ali “highly qualified” and urging his appointment.