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Prince George's Council Chooses New Chairman

Rosalind Helderman

Noting that he may have held the shortest chairmanship in the history of the Prince George's County Council, David C. Harrington (D-Cheverly) resigned the top position of the nine-member board this morning and said he would formally step down from the council on Thursday, as he prepared for his swearing-in as a state senator on Friday.

Harrington, who took over the council's chairmanship in December, was chosen last week by the Prince George's County Democratic Central Committee to fill a vacant senate seat left empty after the recent death of Sen. Gwendolyn T. Britt (D).

The council then voted unanimously to elevate council member Samuel H. Dean (D-Mitchellville) to its chairmanship. Dean, 72, who was elected to the council in 2002 and then reelected in 2006, previously served a one-year chairmanship in 2005. Marilynn Bland (D-Clinton) will remain the council's vice chairman.

Dean said he planned to be "essentially a caretaker," ensuring the body pursues legislative goals Harrington had already outlined with the agreement of colleagues. Dean outlined the process for filling Harrington's District 5 council seat, indicating a special primary election will be held around March 25 and the general election either April 8 or April 15.

In farewell remarks to his colleagues, Harrington pledged to continue to work on behalf of the community in Annapolis. "I leave here with great fondness for my colleagues and fondness for the work," he said. He said he left "not out of any ambition but out of a resolve that every day citizens understand their connection to government and government very clearly understands its connection to everyday citizens."

Harrington also offered a rousing defense of the council he was leaving, calling it "the most misunderstood council I have ever been a part of." He said he was upset at "rancor thrown at this council because they have stood up" and said his colleagues have been dedicated servants of the public good.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  February 5, 2008; 11:43 AM ET
Categories:  Rosalind Helderman  
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