Monday, May 10, 2010

Karen Britto Will Be District 16 Delegate Caretaker

Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee (MCDCC) Chair Karen Britto will be the committee's choice to be the next Delegate from District 16 tomorrow night. But there's a catch: Britto is only serving as a caretaker and will not run for election.

Under state law, when a state legislator leaves office prior to the end of his or her term, the county central committee of that legislator's party picks the successor. If the party cannot pick a successor, the Governor decides. Delegate Bill Bronrott resigned only seven months before the next election with no General Assembly voting sessions remaining. MANY people in the district would have been interested in being selected for the vacancy and running on a slate with the incumbents, but MCDCC was not interested in giving any active candidate such an advantage. So the committee decided instead to select a caretaker, or a candidate who would agree not to run, so that the third Delegate seat could have an unencumbered election.

The problem was finding someone who could be trusted not to run. After all, promises can be broken. So the committee is going to select its leader, Chevy Chase resident Karen Britto, to fill the role. Britto will be donating her legislative salary to charities that work with MCDCC to feed the homeless. Britto has turned down multiple opportunities to run for Delegate or be appointed to the position in the past, so her word is regarded as beyond doubt by the committee.

MCDCC deserves great credit for encouraging open competition for Bronrott's seat this fall.