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Less than two weeks after being chosen to run for lieutenant governor alongside Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot, Prince George’s Councilmember Monique Anderson-Walker stepped down from her county post, effective immediately.
Her decision to quit the council caught her colleagues by surprise. She announced the news in a five-page post on Facebook on Monday morning.
Anderson-Walker (D), who was elected to the District 8 seat in 2018, has with 13 months remaining in her term. She said the rigors of a statewide campaign required her full attention.
“Many of our goals have been accomplished because we worked side by side,” she wrote. “My decision to resign is mainly based upon the fact that I must devote my best to the gubernatorial campaign.”
If Anderson-Walker had waited until December to step down, her council colleagues would have appointed a replacement. Her decision to resign this month guarantees that voters will make the decision.
“You should have an opportunity to elect an individual who will give to you the 100% that you deserve,” she told her former constituents.
Franchot (D) tapped Anderson-Walker on Oct. 27. The founder of a commercial real estate brokerage firm based at National Harbor and the wife of state Del. Jay Walker (D), she had been widely touted as a potential running mate for the all-male field of gubernatorial candidates.
News of her selection was immediately clouded by revelations that she and her husband have had tax liens placed on their property. A previously-undisclosed judgement against her from the county ethics board surfaced as well.
Anderson-Walker was one of four councilmembers who pushed back vigorously against a council redistricting proposal hatched in secret by Derrick Leon Davis (D-District 6) and five colleagues.
That proposal will be the subject of a public hearing and vote on Nov. 16.
On Monday evening, Board of Education member Edward P. Burroughs III (D) posted a Facebook photo of himself already out door-knocking for a council run to fill Anderson-Walker’s seat.
Other potential candidates include Clerk of Circuit Court Mahashin El Amin (D), and former councilman and delegate Tony Knotts (D).
Elections administrator Alisha L. Alexander said county leaders have the option of filling Anderson-Walker’s seat by mail or through in-person balloting. She estimated that two in-person elections — a primary and a general — would cost approximately $520,000, primarily due to the expense of staffing polling sites and transporting ballots.
“There’s an option in the election law article for special elections that gives us the flexibility to conduct a vote-by-mail election for special elections,” she said. “It would need to be included in the Prince George’s County Council resolution. So they would ultimately determine how that would be conducted.”
A vote-by-mail election would bring “significant savings,” Alexander said.
District 8 — which includes Camp Springs, the area around Joint Base Andrews, Clinton, Forest Heights, Fort Washington, Marlow Heights, Oxon Hill, and Temple Hills — will be vacant at least 60 days.
District 7, an inner-Beltway district adjacent to Anderson-Walker’s, is represented by Rodney C. Streeter (D). He underwent surgery over the summer and has yet to appear at a council session, leading to speculation about his condition.
“District 7 County Council Member Rodney C. Streeter underwent a medical procedure and is on leave while he recovers,” said Council Chair Calvin S. Hawkins II (D) in a statement. “He is expected to return when it is medically appropriate.”
Josh Kurtz contributed to this report.