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The Latest: First non-white male nominated for speakership

May 1, 2019

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The Latest on the selection of a new Maryland House speaker (all times local):

2:45 p.m.

In a surprise turn of events, a black female lawmaker who had dropped out of the race for Maryland’s House speaker has been nominated to lead the chamber.

The House Democratic Caucus’ unanimous nomination of Del. Adrienne Jones marks the first time a white man has not been nominated.

Jones was nominated Wednesday after two other candidates who were vying for the office could not get to the 71 votes needed to win the speakership.

The House Democratic Caucus decided on Jones after being divided over Del. Maggie McIntosh, a progressive gay white woman from Baltimore, and Del. Dereck Davis, a moderate black man from the Washington suburb of Prince George’s County.

An official vote in the House of Delegates was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

Lawmakers are choosing a successor to Michael Busch, who died last month.

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5:30 a.m.

Maryland lawmakers are choosing a new speaker of the House, and for the first time it won’t be a white man.

A one-day special session is scheduled in Annapolis, Maryland, on Wednesday.

Del. Maggie McIntosh, a white lesbian progressive Democrat from Baltimore, is running against Del. Dereck Davis, a black Democrat from Prince George’s County.

It’s been a close race in an unusually public contest that generally has been settled for decades in private conversations between legislators before the final public vote.

The winner needs a majority of votes in the chamber, which has 98 Democrats and 42 Republicans.

They’ll be choosing a successor to Michael Busch, the longest-serving House speaker in the state’s history. He died the day before the annual legislative session ended April 8.