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Keeping Kopp?

The process to select a state treasurer has begun, but despite an earlier push for a Prince George's County candidate, few lawmakers expect that current treasurer Nancy K. Kopp will lose her spot.

House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) and Senate President Thomas V. "Mike" Miller (D-Calvert) this week named members to a special joint legislative committee that will interview candidates for the position, which will be advertised in newspapers.

Del. Adrienne A. Jones (D-Baltimore County) and Sen. Thomas M. Middleton (D-Charles) are serving as co-chairs.
The state treasurer is appointed to a four-year term by the General Assembly. Each member has one vote and since there are more members in the House of Delegates, the position will be decided there. Kopp, who served 27 years in the House before becoming treasurer in 2002, has Busch's back and that should be enough to secure her a second term, observers say.

Others have raised questions about whether the three-member Board of Public Works, on which the treasurer sits, is as diverse as it could be -- geographically and racially.

All three members will have Montgomery County ties. Peter Franchot (D), the incoming comptroller, is a former Montgomery delegate, Kopp is a former Montgomery legislator and Gov.-elect Martin O'Malley was raised in the county.

And all three are white. Some in Prince George's, who were disappointed over the lack of diversity on the statewide Democratic ticket last fall, suggested that the legislature choose an African-American candidate for the post.

Middleton said he has heard the argument that the statewide offices are "not representative enough" of the state's diversity.

But he said: "There are also not enough women. Do you remove a woman?"

Ovetta Wiggins

By Phyllis Jordan  |  January 13, 2007; 7:42 AM ET
Categories:  General Assembly  
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