Washington Post Endorses Derrick Leon Davis for Vacant Seat on Council

The Washington Post Editorial Board on one of the worst news making days of the year announced they had endorsed Derrick Leon Davis to fill the vacant seat on the County Council in next month’s Democratic Primary. Davis who is running against fourteen other challengers hopes his third bid for the sixth district seat will be a successful one has the backing of Executive Rushern Baker and much of the political establishment. So what do you think? Tweet us @realpgcounty or leave a comment below with your thoughts…does Derrick Leon Davis deserve the endorsement?

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PRINCE GEORGE’S County Council member Leslie Johnson’s guilty plea on corruption charges capped a dismal chapter in county history, but it offers an opportunity. In addition to sending a clarion message that Ms. Johnson’s unscrupulous behavior is unacceptable in elected office, it also positions the council for a qualitative upgrade.

To replace Ms. Johnson, who resigned from the council and is awaiting sentencing in federal court, no fewer than 14 candidates are running in a special Democratic primary Sept. 20. The winner will represent District 6, which includes all or parts of Bowie; Capitol Heights; District Heights; Forestville; Largo; Kettering; Mitchellville; and Upper Marlboro. (The top Democratic vote-getter will face a lone Republican, who stands virtually no chance in the overwhelmingly Democratic district, on Oct. 18.) Of the 14 candidates, two stand out as savvy, substantive and serious contenders who would bring broad experience as well as integrity to the council.

One is Derrick Leon Davis, who spent years in the county schools working for Head Start and is now Chairman of the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund, the state’s car insurer of last resort. The other is Mark Polk, a longtime law enforcement officer who, after retiring as a captain in the county police force, put himself through law school and has helped homeowners facing foreclosure.

Both men ran last year in the Democratic primary won by Ms. Johnson. Mr. Davis finished a strong second; Mr. Polk, a distant fifth. Last year, we endorsed Mr. Polk, while also identifying Mr. Davis as a strong choice. This time, we think Mr. Davis is the better candidate.

We make the switch partly because of Mr. Davis’s much stronger performance in last year’s primary. He showed a convincing ability to connect with District 6 voters.

We also favor Mr. Davis this time because the county’s political stars are realigned. Mr. Davis is backed by (and himself supports) County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, who, since taking office in December, has brought a badly needed dose of honesty, decency, transparency and good government to Prince George’s.

By contrast, Mr. Polk has been critical of Mr. Baker and a number of his proposals, including the Economic Development Initiative, a measure currently stymied by the council that could help attract quality development and jobs. It’s an honest disagreement; we happen to believe Mr. Baker is right.

It’s hard to overstate the importance of the shift underway in Prince George’s since the departure of Mr. Baker’s predecessor, Jack B. Johnson, who, like his wife, Leslie, faces prison time following a guilty plea on federal charges. After eight years of pay-to-play corruption by an executive who regarded the public with contempt and taxpayer dollars as a slush fund for personal use, Mr. Baker is remaking the county’s image, political culture and governance. It’s critical that he have allies in that endeavor. Mr. Davis would be a valuable one.

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One thought on “Washington Post Endorses Derrick Leon Davis for Vacant Seat on Council

  1. Has anyone actually pointed out this article to Mark Polk? He has on his current website and on his yard signs that the Washington Post endorsed him. Truth be told this was last year and in fact this article shows that. Why parade around on last year’s endorsement especially when it shows that you weren’t strong enough to hold into this year. I honestly don’t understand why the Washington Post endorsed him last year or why he’s still living in the past now.

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