Prince George’s Democrats select Karen Toles for House vacancy

This content was republished with permission from WTOP’s news partners at Maryland Matters. Sign up for Maryland Matters’ free email subscription today.

This article was republished with permission from WTOP’s news partners at Maryland Matters. Sign up for Maryland Matters’ free email subscription today.

The Prince George’s Democratic Central Committee on Tuesday selected former County Councilmember Karen R. Toles to fill a vacant seat in the Maryland House of Delegates.

Her selection was “by acclamation,” said Central Committee Chairman Kent Roberson. Her name will be forwarded to Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R), who by law has 15 days to make the appointment official.

Toles, a lawyer, will fill the District 25 seat that came open when Dereck E. Davis (D) was selected to replace Nancy K. Kopp (D) as state treasurer.

Toles had previously filed to run as a candidate in District 25, having been added to a slate that includes incumbent Sen. Melony Griffith (D) and Dels. Darryl Barnes (D) and Nick Charles (D).

She served two terms on the council, from 2010 to 2018, representing District 7, which overlaps with the legislative district.

In a statement announcing the slate last month, Griffith called Toles “an established fiscal leader known for her community engagement, advocacy for seniors and outstanding constituent services is poised join the team and hit the ground running on behalf of District 25.”

Toles works as community affairs director for the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Prior to serving on the council, she was senior policy advisor for AFSCME and regional field director for the Democratic National Committee.

During her tenure on the council, she gained notoriety for an incident in which she was observed by police driving more than 100 miles an hour and swerving between cars on the heavily traveled Capital Beltway in 2012.

She was charged with reckless driving and other offenses, but she was given probation before judgement and allowed to retain her license.

Toles will serve the final year of Davis’s four-year term.

Burroughs posts big lead in low-turnout Council race

A small crowd of Prince George’s voters went to the polls on Tuesday to cast primary ballots for a County Council vacancy that was created when Monique Anderson-Walker (D) resigned to run for lieutenant governor on a ticket headed by Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot (D).

Just over 100 people voted in-person on Tuesday; 191 people cast ballots during early voting.

Former school board member Edward Burroughs III (D) attracted 199 votes, 68% of the 294 ballots cast. Former County Councilmember Tony Knotts (D) received 51 votes, 17% of the electorate. Four other candidates accounted for the other 15%.

The tally does not include 2,200 mail-in ballots. Those votes will be counted in two canvasses: on Thursday and Jan. 14.

Burroughs served for a dozen years on the board of education, a panel he joined at age 18. Over time he emerged as the leader of a progressive group of board members who clashed loudly and often with school board president Juanita D. Miller, an appointee of County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks (D). Burroughs was heavily supported by union activists in the brief campaign, which was largely waged over the holidays and was widely ignored by the public.

Whoever wins the primary will be the only candidate to appear on the Feb. 1 special general election ballot, as no Republicans, independents or third party candidates filed to run for the District 8 vacancy.

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