Fraser-Hidalgo tapped for District 15 House seat -- Gazette.Net


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Democratic leaders in Montgomery County will send the name of former Montgomery County Police officer David Fraser-Hidalgo to Annapolis as their choice to fill a vacant delegate seat in District 15.

It took just two rounds of voting Tuesday evening in Wheaton for the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee to narrow a field of eight candidates to just one name.

Each candidate was given time to address the 24 voting members of the central committee and answer questions.

“I’m very excited,” Fraser-Hidalgo, of Boyds, said after securing the committee’s support. Fraser-Hidalgo ran for the House in 2010 and said he plans to run again in 2014.

Among those vying for the appointment was former Del. Saqib Ali, who earned no votes from the committee Tuesday. Ali, of Clarksburg, represented District 39 in the House for one term until he narrowly lost a bid for the Senate against incumbent Sen. Nancy J. King (D-Dist. 39) of Montgomery Village in 2010.

According to his website, Ali is running for the legislature again in 2014.

Also in the mix Tuesday was Joseph P. Foley, a former congressional aide who runs a lobbying and public affairs firm in Potomac.

Foley offered himself to the committee as a caretaker, an interim delegate to serve the remainder of Feldman’s term, saying he would not seek a full term in the upcoming primary next June.

Just behind Fraser-Hidalgo with 10 votes in the second round was central committee vice chairwoman Venattia Vann of Germantown.

Anis Ahmed of North Potomac and Jinhee Wilde, Lori Askinazi and Hamza Khan, all of Potomac, also applied for the party’s support.

Gov. Martin O’Malley will ultimately appoint the next District 15 delegate.

O’Malley (D) created the vacancy when he appointed then Del. Brian Feldman (D-Dist. 15) of Potomac to replace former Sen. Robert Garagiola in September.

Garagiola (D-Dist. 15) of Potomac resigned from the Senate Sept. 1 and now heads the Montgomery County office of legal and lobbying firm Alexander & Cleaver.

Committee chairman Gabriel Albronoz said it is unlikely the governor will not back the party’s choice for the seat, but the precedent is there for O’Malley to name his own pick.

Last year O’Malley rejected the Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee’s initial choice of businessman Greg Hall to fill a the seat of former Del. Tiffany Alston (D-Dist. 24) of Mitchellville, asking the party to choose another person after Hall’s criminal record surfaced. In January, O’Malley appointed former Del. Darren M. Swain to represent District 24.

kalexander@gazette.net