The widow of Del. James E. Proctor Jr. will seek to fill her husband’s seat in the Maryland House of Delegates at the urging of one of the state’s top Democrats, her son said Friday.
James E. Proctor III said that Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) asked his mother, Elizabeth G. “Susie” Proctor, whether she would consider becoming part of the legislative team that represents District 27, which includes portions of southern Prince George’s and Charles counties.
“She’s accepted,” Proctor said Friday. Miller could not be reached for comment.
James Proctor Jr. died of heart disease Thursday at age 79. The Democratic Central Committees in Prince George’s and Charles counties are responsible for recommending to Gov. Larry Hogan (R) a successor within 30 days.
Prince George’s Democratic committee Chair Cheryl Landis said her panel will hold a public hearing in the first two weeks of October for all candidates interested in filling Proctor’s position as well as the seat vacated by Del. William A. Campos (D), who resigned his position this week.
Each candidate must submit a résumé and will have a few minutes to present a case to the committee. The 24 members will then vote and send Hogan a name for each vacant seat.
The same process will take place in Charles County, a portion of which Proctor also represented in the State House. Both county bodies will have to agree on a candidate to replace Proctor.
Support from Miller could be a significant advantage among members of a committee that is designed to support Democratic Party leadership. Landis said she had not been told of Proctor’s interest as of Friday afternoon.
Elizabeth Proctor has never held elective office. But she chairs the Prince George’s County Board of Tax Assessment Appeals, according to the board’s Web site, and sits on the board of trustees of the county’s community college.
There is at least one other instance in county history of a widow’s taking over her husband’s seat. In 1982, after state Sen. Edward T. Conroy (D-Prince George’s) died of cancer, his widow, Mary A. Conroy, served the last seven months of his term. In 1986, Conroy was appointed to fill a vacancy in the House of Delegates. She was reelected four times, serving 20 years in Annapolis from a district that included Bowie.