Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) on Tuesday appointed state Del. William Smith (D – District 20) to fill the district’s Senate seat being vacated by state Sen. Jamie Raskin (D). In November, Raskin was elected to the House of Representatives for Maryland’s 8th District.
In Smith’s single term in the House of Delegates, he has advocated for legislation related to criminal justice reform, employment and reemployment rights of veterans, and family law.
The Silver Spring native said he believes his roots in Montgomery County will help him fill the shoes of Raskin, who became a state senator in 2007.
“Jamie leaves behind a legacy of legislative and cultural change in District 20,” Smith said, noting Raskin’s progressive involvement in laws on gun safety, capital punishment and marriage equality.
“I grew up in this community, so I’ve been connected to it for a long time,” Smith said. “I [also] come from the same philosophical background as Jamie Raskin,” which means making Montgomery County the “epicenter of progressive politics for the State of Maryland.”
Hogan also appointed Del. Barbara Robinson (D-District 40) to represent Baltimore City in the state senate, filling the seat left by Catherine Pugh, who was elected mayor of Baltimore in November.
“I am confident that Barbara Robinson and Will Smith will continue to be strong advocates for their constituents in the state senate,” Hogan said in a statement. “I offer my sincere congratulations to the new senators and look forward to working with them in their new roles to change Maryland for the better.”