Prince George’s Co. Council appoints District Heights mayor to vacant seat

District Heights, Maryland, Mayor Johnathan Medlock has been appointed to the vacant District 6 six on the Prince George’s County council, where he’ll finish out the term of Derrick Leon Davis, who abruptly resigned his seat last month.

The term will expire in early December when a new county council takes over. Davis was ineligible to run again because of term limits.

Medlock was one of nine people who applied to finish out Davis’ term. Last week, he told the other members of the council that his experience leading District Heights provided him the best insight to help lead as the county emerges from the pandemic.

“I served and witnessed countless times the invisible voices of Prince George’s County and those high crime areas that view current public safety as a public health crisis,” said Medlock. “We need to work with District 2 and District 8 stations to work on a comprehensive way to combat the crime here in the heart of Prince George’s County.”

District Heights Mayor Johnathan Medlock. (Courtesy

He told the council he would “hit the ground running” and bring a strong voice to the district’s budget priorities, touting the budgetary reserves accumulated in District Heights while also leading efforts to expand public services like food distribution when residents needed it during the pandemic.

He also promised to have a strong understanding of the land-use issues the county council handles.

“I want to ensure that we place a renewed focus on the modest income portions of District 6, especially inside the Capital Beltway like municipalities of the city of District Heights,” said Medlock.

Another factor that seemed to run in Medlock’s favor was that he was not one of the five candidates competing for the seat in the July primary.

Some on the council were suspicious that Davis resigned his seat early in the hopes that his preferred successor, Nakia Wright, would be appointed to finish out his term. She’s one of the candidates running for the Democratic nomination.

Medlock was appointed by a 10-0 vote and will serve on the council for the next seven months.

“This is never an easy decision,” said District 4 Council member Todd Turner. He later acknowledged “the question for me is about who is the potentially best candidate to serve out the balance of the term. You could argue whether that was somebody running for the position or not running for the position and each of us as council members had to make that decision in that way.”

Some on the council were adamant they would not vote to appoint someone running for a full, four-year term.

“So in the vein of consensus and already reading the votes in the room,” Turner joined the other nine members of the council in voting yes on Medlock’s appointment.

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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