The nine candidates hoping to finish the term of Derrick Leon Davis stated their case on Tuesday before the rest of the Prince George’s County Council, which will decide on Davis’ replacement next Tuesday.
Davis, who has served on the council since 2011, resigned earlier this month, saying the time had come to “rest, restore and prepare for the next leg of this journey,” but did not say why he is resigning or what the next step in that journey would entail.
Two of the five candidates to finish Davis’ term, which ends Dec. 5, are also running in the July primary and hope to be elected in November for a full term.
One of them, Nakia Wright, told the council, “As the chief operating officer of a nonprofit organization, I know the value of placing the right leader in the proper position in order to exceed projected goals.” Noting some of the recent economic development projects in the district, including the new University of Maryland Capital Region Health hospital in Largo, she added, “Our growth has been vast and our potential is even greater.”
Belinda Queen told the council, “The only reason I stepped up to put my name in was because of the buzz of one candidate being pushed by a previous council member, and to let you know that each of us as candidates qualify and ran for this position to make a difference in our beloved District 6.”
She began her speech announcing she would be a “voice for the people.”
With the primary field so crowded, there’s a belief in some corners of the county that Davis, who was in his final term due to term limits, resigned so that his preferred successor, rumored to be Wright, would be appointed and have an easier chance of winning the primary.
“I have no interest in being in this position permanently,” Angela Smith told the council. “But I do think we need someone as a leader and an advocate to temporarily sit in the position until a permanent elected official is selected.”
Also up for consideration are former District 6 councilman Sam Dean, District Heights mayor Johnathan Medlock, Kenneth Fishe, Glenn Mahone and Preston Thomas III. Jonathan White told the council he was dropping out of the race because he felt Queen was the best candidate.
County Council Administrator Robert Williams warned candidates, “There are a number of ethical issues and matters, which need to be clarified and made certain that folks are not sitting on any board, commission, or other entity that may be a conflict.
“Once there’s an appointment made, folks may have to step down from other places and points of service,” he added.