Del. Adrienne Jones becomes first African American, first woman to serve as Maryland House speaker

I am still processing what I witnessed today in a front row seat to the debate of who would follow Michael E. Busch as Speaker of the House. The process was poignant, inspiring, and simply remarkable. It left me so proud of my friend and committee Chairman Dereck Davis, and of my friend and Appropriations Chairwoman, Maggie McIntosh. Both ran good, solid races to be Speaker of the House and when the Democratic Caucus vote showed neither of them had enough Democratic votes to win on the floor - they both stepped aside for a consensus candidate who had previously, and also selflessly, dropped out of the race, Delegate Adrienne Jones. That is the short version of a long story. We had several hours of debate where my colleagues eloquently spoke for and against the issue at hand - how to, and who to, elect the next Speaker. It ended with our three leaders arm in arm and a spontaneous group hug of 99 people. We did it - we came together in a unanimous vote led by three of the most selfless leaders I have ever seen, and I will never forget their example to all of us. See captions for more of the story.

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