Just weeks after being elected, the chairman of the Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee wants to fill one of the county’s two vacant seats in the House of Delegates.
Terry Speigner, who was chosen chairman of the committee Oct. 16, confirmed Tuesday that he is interested in the seat left open when Del. Tiffany T. Alston (D-Dist. 24) of Mitchellville was suspended last month.
The central committee soon will vote to recommend replacements for both Alston, who pleaded no contest to a charge that she misused campaign funds, and Del. Justin Ross (D-Dist. 22) of Hyattsville, who is retiring in early November.
Speigner said his interest in the seat, first reported by the blog Maryland Juice, does not create a conflict of interest, as the blog suggested.
“We will follow a very refined process that was done for two [other] recent vacancies,” Speigner said.
Replacements had to be found for the late state Sen. Gwendolyn Britt (D-Dist. 47) of Landover Hills, who died in 2008, and U.S. Rep. Al Wynn (D-Dist. 4) of Mitchellville, who stepped down in 2008 after losing the primary to current U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards (D) of Fort Washington.
“There is no conflict,” Speigner said. “That’s why the committee has vice chairs, so when the chair has to recuse himself he has others that can handle the meeting.”
The committee will hold a public hearing Friday at which other candidates for Alston’s seat can make their case before members vote on whom they will recommend to the governor to fill the vacancy. A similar hearing for Ross’ seat will be held Nov. 15.
Speigner previously served as chairman of the central committee from 2006 to 2010. In 2007, the committee considered ousting him over his support of a nonunion grocery store coming to the county.