The Calvert County Democratic Central Committee will select a replacement for former state delegate George W. Owings III on June 24 after a public candidates forum for the vacant District 27B seat.
The Central Committee officially began accepting applications last week after Owings resigned from the General Assembly and was sworn in as Maryland's secretary of veterans affairs, said Doris Spencer, the committee's chairwoman.
As of Friday, no applications had been received, Spencer said. The deadline is June 18.
The Central Committee is legally required to inform Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) of its nomination by June 30, a month after Owings's resignation became official.
Ehrlich, who named Owings in March to take over the veterans affairs post, has indicated he will accept the committee's selection for the House of Delegates vacancy.
The Democratic Central Committee is involved in the selection process because Owings is a Democrat.
Some Calvert Democrats have announced their intentions to seek the nomination. Those who have said in interviews that they would apply for Owings's seat are Hagner R. Mister, a former state agriculture secretary and a former county commissioner, and Thomas M. Pelagatti, a Prince Frederick lawyer who is a former judge of the Orphans' Court in Calvert County.
Also discussed as a prospective candidate is Barbara A. Stinnett, though the former county commissioner has not officially said she would submit her name.
Mark R. Frazer, North Beach mayor and a former county commissioner, announced his intention to seek the nomination but then decided against it.
"I'm going to complete my remaining two and a half years as mayor," Frazer said.
"We're in the midst of two or three significant and important projects in town that I have been involved with and would like to see completed."
As one of the 10 members of the Central Committee, Mister will be allowed to vote for himself if he submits an application.
Spencer said the majority of the Central Committee, in "a split vote," decided that Mister "should have a right" to name Owings's successor, even if he becomes a candidate.
Calvert County Commissioner Wilson H. Parran (D-At Large) -- once promoted as a prospective Owings replacement -- will serve as moderator of the June 24 forum. It is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Prince Frederick firehouse, Spencer said.
"Commissioner Parran has removed himself as a candidate so he will be moderating the meeting," she said.
"Each candidate will be given three minutes to say whatever it is they would like to say, and then it will be opened to the question phase," Spencer said.
The public will be allowed to view the proceedings but not ask questions, she said. The Central Committee will go into a closed session to vote on the nomination, then announce the results publicly, Spencer said.
The process to replace Owings will be similar to that used when Patrick M. Buehler (D) stepped down from the Board of County Commissioners in 2000. After a public meeting, the Central Committee sent two names to then-Gov. Parris N. Glendening (D), who appointed one of the nominees, Robert L. Swann. Swann did not run for election in 2002.
Democrats say they want Owings's replacement to be a strong candidate to retain the House seat in 2006, when formidable Republican opposition is expected.
The district encompasses the northern half of Calvert County.