Three new prospects for Maryland House seat

January 16, 2013

The Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee late Tuesday formally withdrew its recommendation of Capitol Heights businessman Gregory A. Hall to fill a seat in the Maryland House of Delegates, and is forwarding three other names to Gov. Martin O’Malley (D).

The 24-member committee’s new recommendations could be ignored by O’Malley, who the state courts have said has the authority to make the final selection. After Hall’s nomination was sent to O’Malley, the governor stalled and then eventually asked the committee to withdraw it.

Hall, 42, took part in a gun battle two decades ago that led to the death of a seventh-grade honors student whose family was leaving church. Hall, who served 40 days in jail but was later determined not to have fired the fatal shot, has turned his life around, and supporters say he could be a role model for others.

O’Malley’s spokeswoman Raquel Guillory said the governor “will take into consideration” the panel’s recommendations: Vicky L. Orem, Clayton Aarons and Phillip Raines.

Tuesday’s action by the committee caps weeks of wrangling over the seat, which in early January was declared vacant by the state’s highest court. Del. Tiffany Alston, a first-term Democrat, was removed from office after she was convicted of misconduct in office. The conviction was removed after she met the conditions for a sentence of probation before judgment, but the courts declined to return her to office.

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