2022 Maryland primary election: Races to watch in Prince George’s Co.

When voters in Prince George’s County cast their ballots for the July 19 Maryland primary, they’ll be weighing in on whether to give County Executive Angela Alsobrooks a second term and making their picks for a handful of county council seats that could change the direction of the 11-member council.

County Executive

Nearing the end of her first term as county executive, Angela Alsobrooks remains popular and is widely believed to be a shoo-in for reelection. She has drawn four challengers for the Democratic nomination.



“You have folks who are running who are confident they can take out the county executive,” said Washington Informer reporter William Ford, who covers the county. “But when you have a million dollar war chest, it’s hard to beat.”

Alsobrooks, the former state’s attorney, won the Democratic primary four years ago with nearly 62% of the vote — and 99% in the general election in heavily Democratic Prince George’s County.

Alsobrooks has won praise for her handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, which hit Prince George’s particularly hard, and has announced a bevy of development projects around the county.

Still, there are concerns about a rise in crime, property taxes and the economy.

Speaking at a candidate’s forum in late June, Alsobrooks said tackling crime “is the single greatest priority that we should have right now.”

At the forum, Sherman Hardy, an Air Force veteran and business owner, said he is running to restore trust and transparency to county government, and that more needs to be done to combat violent crime.

Tonya Sweat, a consultant, focused on social justice and education. “We’ve not taken care of our schools. Many of them are overcrowded,” she said.

Leigh Bodden, a former NFL player who lives in Bowie, has made leadership a part of his campaign message. “You can throw money at anything, but if you don’t have good leadership, then it’s not going to be great,” he said.

Billy W. Bridges, a former school system employee, is also in the running.

Pulling off an upset won’t be easy said Diarra Robertson, associate professor of government at Bowie State University.

“When you’re talking about an incumbent, it’s really rare without a scandal or something of that nature, that there’s an upset,” he said.

County Council

Voters will also be making a lot of decisions when it comes to the county council. The 11-member council is made up of nine district seats and two at-large seats.

In four of the district seats, incumbent council members are stepping down due to term limits and there are a number of newcomers vying for the seats that could change the makeup of the council.

“That could flip the entire council around to what it is now,” Ford said.

The council courted controversy last year when a six-member majority adopted a redrawn district boundary map that many saw as political gerrymandering and that was later thrown out by Maryland’s high court.

Depending on who comes out on top July 19, the council could also see more of a leftward shift, setting up a potential split with the county’s traditional political establishment.

“If that does happen … a more leftward turn, you could see some people in the county establishment really scratching their heads wondering what in the world are we going to do,” Ford said.

County council at-large: Voters pick two

The two at-large seats are currently held by Calvin Hawkins, who was first elected in 2018 and now serves as the council chair, and Mel Franklin, who has served on the council since 2010. He’s running for his second term as an at-large council member.

In addition, there are five other Democratic candidates vying for the nomination. They are:

District 2

In District 2, which includes Adelphi, Chillum, Hyattsville and Mount Rainier, Council member Deni Taveras, who has served on the council since 2014, is stepping down to run for state delegate.

Three Democrats are vying to succeed her. They are:

District 3

In District 3, which includes College Park, Lanham, Glenn Dale and Woodlawn, Council member Dannielle Glaros is term-limited.

There are three Democratic candidates in the running. They are:

  • Sia Finoh, former legislative aide to state Sen. Nathaniel Exum
  • Eric C. Olson, former District 3 council member form 2006-2014
  • Eve T. Shuman, former aide to Sen. Chris Van Hollen

District 4

In District 4, which includes Bowie, Greenbelt and Upper Marlboro, Council member Todd Turner is term-limited.

Four Democrats are vying to succeed him.

District 6

In District 6, which includes District Heights, Largo, and the unincorporated parts of Bowie, Capitol Heights and Upper Marlboro.

Derrick Leon Davis, who had held the seat since 2011 and was barred by term limits from running again, stepped down early in May. Johnathan Medlock, the former mayor of District Heights, was appointed to finish the term.

There are five Democrats vying to succeed him.

  • Wala Blegay, counsel for the DC Nurses Association, host of “Chat with a Lawyer” TV show
  • Barbara Holt Streeter, Prince George’s County Public Schools director of community partnerships
  • Belinda Queen, former member of the Prince George’s County Board of Education
  • Denise Smith, communications director for Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy
  • Nakia R. Wright, CEO of The Gathering at Forestville

District 7

In District 7, which includes Capitol Heights, Marlow Heights, Suitland and Temple Hills, Council member Rodney Streeter is running for a second term. He has drawn one Republican challenger and two Democratic challengers, including Krystal Oriadha, who lost to Streeter by just 31 votes in 2018.

Republican:

  • Gary Falls, retired from the D.C. Department of Corrections, running unopposed for the Republican nomination

Democratic:

District 8

District 8 includes Camp Springs, Clinton, Oxon Hill and Temple Hills. Council member Edward Burroughs, a former member of the board of education, was elected to the seat in January in a special election.

He is facing four Democratic challengers.

  • Tony Knotts, former state delegate and member of the council (2002-2010)
  • Dania Lofton, community activist, lawyer and health policy advocate
  • Jerry Mathis, real estate agent
  • Vernon Wade, business owner and member of the Prince George’s County Climate Action Committee

District 9

In District 9, which includes Accokeek, Brandywine, Fort Washington and Upper Marlboro, Council member Sydney Harrison is running for a second term.

He faces three Democratic challengers.

  • Lisa Burnam, member of Progressive Maryland and Democratic Socialists of America
  • Ernest Canlas, Navy veteran
  • Dorian Sibedwo

(In District 1, Council member Thomas Dernoga is running unopposed for reelection, and in District 5, Jolene Ivey is running unopposed.)

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined WTOP.com as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at Nextgov.com, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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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