Senator-less no longer, Baltimore’s 41st District learned today that Gov. Larry Hogan has chosen former delegate Jill P. Carter to occupy the Maryland Senate seat that Nathaniel T. Oaks vacated in the wake of a federal corruption indictment.
Carter was chosen by the Republican governor after 41st District Democrats were unable to agree on a single recommendation and sent him two names – Carter’s and that of longtime party official, Joyce Smith.
“Jill Carter’s dedication to Baltimore City and our state is admirable,” Hogan said in a statement this afternoon. “I have no doubt she will serve the constituents of District 41 well.”
Carter currently heads the Baltimore Office of Civil Rights and Wage Enforcement under Mayor Catherine Pugh.
Will she continue to work her city job (for which she received a $121,000 salary last year) as she serves as senator until the general election in November?
Speaking today with The Brew, Carter said she was not certain.
“I’m still deciding how to navigate the dual responsibilities,” she said.
Asked if she might work pro bono during that time, Carter said, “That is an option I am considering.”
To her followers on social media today, Carter sounded jubilant.
“We are on our way!” she tweeted, reminding them that she still faces a primary election, where political newcomer J.D. Merrill is challenging her to represent the diverse Northwest Baltimore area.
“I’m honored to be able to serve my community, but I still need your support to win the election on June 26!” she added.
41st District Ballot Lawsuit
Merrill is not the only person vying for a Senate seat, along with Carter, in the upcoming Democratic primary.
Oaks’ name remains on the ballot as well, although an Anne Arundel County judge last week ordered that it be removed.
Three 41st District residents have sued the Board of Elections, arguing that voters would be confused to see the disgraced Oaks’ name on the ballot, where he is a candidate for both Democratic Central Committee and Maryland Senate.
Oaks, who has withdrawn his own voter registration, has asked that his name be stricken.
But on Friday, the Maryland Attorney General’s Office announced that it had appealed that decision.
The Maryland Court of Appeals set a hearing on the case for Wednesday and permitted the state to continue preparing for the election in the meantime.