Adrienne Jones Elected Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates

In a historic vote on Wednesday, the House chose the Baltimore County delegate to lead the chamber as the first African American and the first woman.

image 2019 05 01It was a dramatic turn of events that began last week with Jones, who is speaker pro tem, removing herself from consideration for speaker to rally members of the Legislative Black Caucus around Del. Dereck Davis. 

But the Democratic caucus, which holds more than two-thirds of House seats, was divided over whether to support Del. Davis or Del. Maggie McIntosh. Both delegates would have made histroy as Del. Davis is African American and McIntosh is an openly gay woman. After more than four hours of caucusing, neither could reach the required 71 votes to win.

All 42 House Republicans threw their support behind Del. Davis, making Democrats uneasy about the minority party determining the outcome of the election. That's when Democrats turned to Jones as the compromise candidate. The final vote for Jones was 139-0.

House Speaker Michael Busch passed away last month the day before the legislative session ended.