Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks on Tuesday became the first woman chosen by voters to lead Maryland’s second-largest county, in an election that also saw the expansion of the County Council to include two at-large members.
Two incumbent members of the board of education were ousted by challengers, according to preliminary returns, after an intense campaign that reflected a rift on the board between establishment-backed members and a vocal dissident bloc.
But all of the incumbent county council members running for reelection retained their seats.
Democrat Aisha N. Braveboy, who was unopposed, was elected to succeed Alsobrooks as state’s attorney. Braveboy, who has never been a prosecutor, says she wants to create more diversion programs for low-level offenders and continue the office’s focus on prosecuting and preventing domestic violence.
She will succeed Rushern L. Baker III (D), who has focused during his two terms on bringing new businesses to the county, decreasing crime and cleaning up local government after the arrest of his predecessor, Jack B. Johnson (D), on corruption charges in 2010.
Delores Penn, a retired schoolteacher who recently moved from Los Angeles to Maryland, said it will be “wonderful” to have Alsobrooks — who, like her, is a single mother — as the first female county executive.
“I don’t see single parents really represented,” Penn said. “There’s no breaks for single parents. You’re at the bottom of the totem pole.”
On the campaign trail, Alsobrooks talked about improving the struggling public school system, which emerged as a weakness for Baker in his unsuccessful run for governor, and growing local businesses to expand the commercial tax base.
She is preparing for her new role even as her office works with police and the FBI on a broadening investigation into the causes of the severe electrical shock received by a child swinging on a lighted handrail at MGM National Harbor this summer. She has said investigators “will find the truth” — and she is not afraid of the possibility the truth might include allegations of public corruption.
Kimberly Brooks, 53, said she was excited to back Alsobrooks because of the Democrat’s personal and professional history in Prince George’s County. “I’ve been watching her work over the years,” Brooks said. “She seems very excited to do good work for the county.”
Both Brooks and Samuel York, 24, said they appreciated Alsobrooks’s roots in the community. “She is Prince George’s County born and raised,” said York, who voted at Bowie State University and split the ticket to cast a ballot for Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, also a Prince George’s native.
In city council races, Democrat Calvin Hawkins, a longtime adviser to Baker, and Democratic council member Mel Franklin (District 9) won the at-large seats that were created by a 2016 ballot measure.
In the school board races, incumbent Lupi Quinteros-Grady (District 2) lost to Joshua M. Thomas, 25, a recruiter for Teach for America, according to preliminary returns. Belinda Queen defeated District 6 representative Carolyn M. Boston (District 6).
Sonya Williams (District 9) defeated challenger Arun Puracken, and Pamela Boozer-Strother beat Juwan Blocker for the open District 3 seat, according to preliminary returns.
Martin Mitchell, a 28-year-old graduate student at Bowie State University, said he has been closely following the board of educatsion races and voted for Thomas, who has aligned himself with the minority bloc.
“We need more young leadership on the school board,” Mitchell said.
Four Democratic council incumbents were unopposed in the general election: Dannielle M. Glaros (District 3), Todd M. Turner (District 4), Derrick Leon Davis (District 6) and Deni Taveras (District 2). Also unopposed were District 1 council candidate Tom Dernoga (D); former state delegate Jolene Ivey (D), running in District 5; District 7 candidate Rodney Colvin Streeter (D); and District 8 candidate Monique Anderson-Walker (D).
District 9 candidate Sydney Harrison (D) easily beat write-in candidate Tamara Davis Brown.
Kem Owens, 57, said she refused to vote for any Democrats or in uncontested races, frustrated by what amounts to one-party rule in her county.
“I didn’t vote for anyone where there was only one single name,” the College Park resident said said after casting her ballot at Paint Branch elementary school late Tuesday. Instead she voted for Hogan, and any other Republicans she saw on the ticket.