Maryland House of Delegates Speaker Adrienne A. Jones endorsed Angela Alsobrooks on Monday as Alsobrooks seeks to fortify her bid to succeed the retiring U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin in the 2024 election.
“I want to make history. I want to see a Black woman from Maryland in the United State Senate. But most importantly, I want someone who will get it right,” Jones said.
Alsobrooks, the county executive of Prince George’s County, is a Democrat. Jones is a Democrat representing a Baltimore County district in the House of Delegates, and is both the first woman and the first Black person to lead either General Assembly chamber.
Jones said Alsobrooks was a leader in responding to the coronavirus pandemic, as well as on reforming law enforcement and developing community policing. She said Alsobrooks is “someone who won’t just accept things because that’s the way it has always been done.”
In remarks after the event, Jones said she chose Alsobrooks because she trusts the county executive, with whom she forged a relationship.
“I know Alsobrooks and have seen her commitment to the public,” she said.
U.S. Rep. David Trone, Montgomery County Councilman Will Jawando and activist Jerome Segal have said they’re also seeking the Democratic nomination, while Steven Seuferer and Brian E. Frydenborg of Montgomery County and Andrew Wildman of Carroll County have filed with the Maryland State Board of Elections to run in the May 14 primary. The filing deadline is Feb. 9.
Trone recently was endorsed by 27 colleagues in Congress, including Rep. Adam B. Schiff of California and Illinois Rep. Jonathan L. Jackson, the son of the Rev. Jesse Jackson.
Jones endorsed Alsobrooks at a news conference at Gwynn Oak Park in Woodlawn on the 60th anniversary of the integration of an amusement park there. More than 300 people were arrested at a protest July 4, 1963, against the business’s “whites only” policy. After then-Baltimore County Executive Spiro Agnew negotiated a deal with the owner to end the policy, 11-month-old Sharon Langley was the first Black child to ride the merry-go-ground on Aug. 28, 1963.
County Council Chair Julian Jones Jr., who has not endorsed a Senate candidate, said Monday that he grew up coming to Gwynn Oak every Sunday as a child after it was integrated. He said he was “very excited and proud” to attend Monday’s announcement.
Also attending the news conference were two Democratic leaders who’d already endorsed Alsobrooks: County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. and U.S. Rep. Kwesi Mfume of Baltimore.
The election of Alsobrooks would help “break up an old, male congressional delegation here in Maryland,” Mfume said. “By bringing somebody in not just because they are Black, though, but because they are experienced and dedicated. She has served as a prosecutor, as a county executive, and is beloved by so many people.”
Maryland’s eight representatives and two senators are men. Mfume and Democratic U.S. Rep. Glenn Ivey are the delegation’s Black members. The delegation has three members over 70; the rest are in their 60s. Alsobrooks is 52.