A Prince George’s County attorney who ran unsuccessfully for the House of Delegates in 2018 has been named to fill a seat vacated by a lawmaker who pleaded guilty to stealing campaign funds.
Gov. Larry Hogan announced Friday that he has appointed Nicole Williams to fill the seat vacated by former Del. Tawanna Gaines, a Democrat.
“I am confident that Nicole Williams will represent the citizens of Prince George’s County admirably in her new role as state delegate,” Hogan said. “I offer Ms. Williams my sincere congratulations and look forward to working with her in the upcoming legislative session.”
Williams, 42 of Greenbelt, holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Pittsburgh and a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. She is an attorney at Rees Broome, where she focuses on community associations and bankruptcy. She also serves on Greenbelt’s Advisory Planning Board.
Williams ran unsuccessfully in the 2018 Democratic primary against three incumbent delegates. She finished fourth, 2,100 votes behind incumbent Del. Anne Healey.
Williams also currently serves as third vice chair of the Maryland Democratic Party and is president of the Roosevelt Democratic Club in Greenbelt.
She was selected two weeks ago to fill the vacancy left by Gaines’ sudden resignation. Hogan’s announcement Friday makes Williams’ appointment official.
Gaines resigned quietly on Oct. 4, days before she was charged in federal court with siphoning more than $22,500 from her campaign. The donations over three years were made to her campaign through an unreported PayPal account under the exclusive control of the delegate.
Federal prosecutors said Gaines used the money for fast food in Maryland and Illinois, a pool cover, an Amazon Fire TV Stick, an Amazon Prime account and purchases from Amazon, as well as for dental care and hair styling.
She is expected to be sentenced in federal court in Greenbelt on Jan. 3.
That same investigation also led to charges against Gaines’ daughter, Anitra Edmond.
Edmond, who served as campaign treasurer for her mother, pleaded guilty on Nov. 7 to defrauding campaign contributors of more than $35,188.63 between 2012 and 2018.
Federal prosecutors said Edmond used the money to pay for fast food, hair styling, personal phone bills and rent for a separate business.
Edmond is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court in Greenbelt in February.