Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2007

King picked for District 39 Senate seat

If she is appointed by the governor, Democrats will have to fill her House seat; vote is set for Sept. 11

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Del. Nancy J. King has been nominated to succeed Patrick J. Hogan as the state senator for District 39.

She was selected last week after two rounds of voting by the 23-member Montgomery County Central Committee.

Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) has 15 days to approve or reject King’s nomination, although his approval is seen as a formality.

O’Malley jokingly called her ‘‘senator” during the Maryland Association of Counties summer conference in Ocean City last week, said King, who lives in Montgomery Village. ‘‘He said it was time to change my voice mail greeting ... I don’t think I’m in any trouble,” she said.

King said Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. told her that she would be appointed to the influential Senate Budget and Taxation Committee. Hogan was vice chairman before he formally resigned Aug. 10 to take a job as the University System of Maryland’s top lobbyist.

‘‘I’ll be on the Budget and Taxation Committee, on the education subcommittee, which is critical to Montgomery County,” King said after the vote at the committee’s headquarters in Kensington.

Hogan was also chairman of the education, business and administration subcommittee. Montgomery leaders feared that his resignation would mean the county delegation would lose one of its three seats on the powerful committee. District 39 includes 110,000 residents of North Potomac, Darnestown, parts of Germantown, unincorporated Gaithersburg and Washington Grove.

It took two votes on Aug. 14 for the central committee to nominate King, eliminating former delegate Gene W. Counihan, the low vote-getter, in the first round. King received the required majority on the second vote, getting 13 votes to Del. Saqib Ali of Gaithersburg’s nine; one committee member submitted a blank vote.

Arthur H. Jackson Jr. of North Potomac, Robert J. Tublin of Montgomery Village and Del. Charles E. Barkley of Germantown applied for the post, but withdrew their names.

Barkley endorsed King in an e-mail to central committee members.

‘‘The best thing for District 39 and Montgomery County is to have as many people as possible on the front lines of the upcoming budget fight,” Barkley wrote. ‘‘What happens this session will affect my District and the County for many years to come.”

King said Barkley’s endorsement was ‘‘a big factor. He was very classy about the way he did it, too.”

King, 57, is vice president of a family-run engineering consulting firm and a former two-term Montgomery County school board member. She has been a delegate since 2003 and is chairwoman of the education subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Kirill Reznik of Germantown, president of the Montgomery County Young Democrats and a member of the central committee, and Hugh Bailey of Montgomery Village, who ran unsuccessfully for an at-large seat on the Montgomery County Council last year, are in the running for King’s House seat.

If O’Malley appoints King to the Senate, the central committee will have to nominate her successor to the House of Delegates. The committee has scheduled a vote for Sept. 11, when it also will nominate a successor to Del. Marilyn R. Goldwater (D-Dist. 16) of Bethesda, who announced recently that on Aug. 27 she will relinquish the seat she has held for more than two decades.

Staff Writer Margie Hyslop contributed to this report.