Brian Feldman, who served 10 years in the Maryland House of Delegates, was named last week to fill the unexpired term of Maryland Sen. Rob Garagiola of District 15.
“He is an incredibly smart guy, a lawyer and an accountant,” said Ron Halber, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council. “His ascendency to the Senate is good for the Jewish community.”
Feldman said although he is changing his job title, he plans to continue his efforts in the fields of biotechnology and energy. “I will focus on a lot of the same types of issues,” he said on Friday, one day after Gov. Martin O’Malley appointed him to the position.
“Going from the House to the Senate, I would say, doesn’t alter your basic responsibilities,” he said during a phone interview. Still, he said, “I am excited with the new challenge.”
Feldman lives in Potomac, is married, and the father of two children. He said the future of Montgomery County resides in the building up of biotech and tech centers, particularly along the Route 270 corridor. He said he also plans to focus on improving Pepco’s services to the community and bringing renewable energy resources here.
He just finished serving a 10-year term on the board at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington and still sits on committees there.
Halber said he has worked both openly and behind the scenes with Feldman on issues important to the Jewish community, including matters of funding.
“He is a very proud and committed Jew,” Halber noted.
The new state senator was chosen unanimously by the county’s Democratic committee. That group forwarded his name onto the governor. Because Garagiola, who left public service to return to the private sector, is a Democrat, it was the job of the Democrats to choose his successor.
Feldman became a state senator last week once O’Malley appointed him, but he officially was sworn in Tuesday at noon. His term expires in 2014 but he is eligible to run for re-election then.
Prior to holding state office, Feldman was an attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice. He was born in Pittsburgh and has a bachelor of science degree in accounting from Penn State University, a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and a masters in government from Johns Hopkins University.
Feldman also served as an adviser to the Obama Department of Justice transition team for Obama’s first term.
District 15, which covers western and northern Montgomery County including Rockville, Bethesda, Potomac and Gaithersburg as well as Barnesville and Poolsville, is one of the few seats in Montgomery County where a Republican candidate can be successful.