A surprise loss in the June Democratic primary election coupled with expected departures has led to major changes in the leadership in the House of Delegates.
House Speaker Michael E. Busch announced the changes Wednesday night — including a new chair and vice chair of the House Judiciary Committee — following an afternoon meeting with Democratic lawmakers from his chamber. The new committee leaders are part of more than a dozen leadership moves that include subcommittee leaders.
Busch named Del. Luke Clippinger, a two-term Baltimore legislator, to lead the House Judiciary committee. He served on the committee for four years during his first term. Over the last four years, Clippinger was assigned to the House Economic Matters Committee where he championed mandatory paid sick leave legislation.
“This is the first change for leadership in the House Judiciary Committee in 25 years and Luke is the right person for the job,” said Busch in a statement. “Criminal justice policy is evolving more rapidly every year and I am pleased to name an experienced practitioner to lead this committee for the next term. Luke has proven himself time and again as having the ability to work with people from all backgrounds and bring a common sense, forward-thinking approach to policy issues.”
Clippinger replaces long-time chairman Del. Joseph Vallario Jr., a Prince George’s County Democrat who was elected in 1975 and has led the committee since 1993.
Vallario lost his primary in June and will not return.
Montgomery County Del. Kathleen Dumais, the current vice chair of the Judiciary Committee, will become House Majority leader. Dumais replaces fellow Montgomery County lawmaker Bill Frick, who recently ran an unsuccessful campaign for Montgomery County executive.
Howard County Del. Vanessa Atterbeary, a member of the Judiciary Committee who just completed her first term in office, succeeds Dumais as vice chair.
Del. Eric Bromwell of Baltimore County moves from his current slot as vice chair of the Health and Government Operations Committee to vice chairman of the Economic Matters Committee. Bromwell succeeds Charles County Del. Sally Jameson, who is retiring at the end of the current term.
The vacancy in the Health and Government Operations Committee created by shifting Bromwell will be filled by Prince George’s County Del. Joseline Peña-Melnyk, who has served on the committee since 2007.
Other changes include:
- Del. Kris Valderrama, Prince George’s County, deputy speaker pro tem
- Del. Keith Haynes, Baltimore, deputy majority leader
- Del. Eric Luedtke, Montgomery County, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus
- Del. Jazz Lewis, Prince George’s County, vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus
- Darryl Barnes, Prince George’s County, assistant speaker pro tem
- Cheryl Glenn, Baltimore, vice chair, Rules and Executive Nominations.
- Michael Jackson, Prince George’s County, chair, Joint Committee on Cybersecurity, Information Technology and Biotechnology
- Samuel I. Rosenberg, Baltimore, chair, Joint Legislative Ethics Committee