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Quick and Dirty

First Lady

By Christina Royster-Hemby | Posted 4/19/2006

Two weeks ago, the Maryland General Assembly’s Legislative Black Caucus elected Baltimore Sen. Verna L. Jones (D-44th District) chair of the organization, whose mission is to draft, sponsor, and examine legislation on behalf of the state’s African-American community.

“I am excited and humbled to have been elected by my colleagues to serve in this crucial leadership position,” Jones says. “[It’s a crucial time] for all of the minority legislators, and particularly the African-American legislators, to maintain a strong, influential voice when looking at the crafting of public policy.”

But Jones says her win goes beyond her African-American heritage—she is the first female senator, and the first female legislator from Baltimore City, to serve in this post.

So far, no candidate has filed with the Maryland State Board of Elections to square off with Jones for her upcoming bid for re-election, although there have been rumblings that former state senator Larry Young, who was expelled from the Maryland legislature in 1998 for ethics violations, is again hoping to reclaim his seat in the 44th (“Forever Young,” The Nose, July 20, 2005). Meanwhile, Jones says her latest political victory does not mean that she will rest on her Legislative Black Caucus chair laurels.

“I intend to work as hard as I’ve worked for anything,” she says. “I’m not taking anything for granted.”

Jones first took the office as a state senator in 2002, when she unseated then-embattled incumbent Clarence Mitchell IV. She has served on the Legislative Black Caucus since, most recently as first vice chair.

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