So. Maryland Delegates Off to Democratic Convention

SOUTHERN MARYLAND (Aug. 24, 2008)—The 5th Congressional District's seven Democratic Party delegates are off to Denver this week for the party's presidential convention. The delegates were elected by Democratic voters during this year's primary election.

The delegates will cast their votes to determine who will be the party's candidate for President of the United States. While each delegate is pledged to a certain candidate, there is no law or party rule that requires the delegates to vote that way. Two are pledged to Hillary Clinton and five to Barack Obama.

The delegates will be joining the elected delegates from Maryland's seven other congressional districts, add-on delegates, party leaders, and super delegates. Super delegates include all members of the U.S. House and Senate, Governor O'Malley and other key state officials, and other party insiders.

Maryland's 5th congressional district encompasses Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties and portions of Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties.

Biographies of the Elected Delegates for the 5th District:

Delegate Biographies by David Hill, Ashley Lewis, Christopher Weaver, and Laurie White

BENJAMIN BARNES, 33, is in his second year as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates. His jurisdiction includes parts of Anne Arundel and Prince George's counties. In addition to his political office, Barnes is a practicing attorney. He is pledged to Clinton.

VIRGINIA BENEDICT, 64, of Newburg, is a library assistant and chairwoman of the Charles County Democratic Central Committee. Benedict attended the Maryland School of Art in Baltimore, and spent several years at a community college. As chairman of the county's Democratic Central Committee, Benedict served as Charles coordinator for Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign, and helped generate grassroots support for her before Maryland's primary election. She has three children. Benedict was a delegate in 2000 and attended the 1992 and 1996 conventions. She is pledged to Clinton.

SUE KULLEN, 48, is a member of the Maryland House of Delegates representing Calvert County. In addition to her elected office, she has worked as an advocate for the disabled and as a consultant for organizations that serve them, including a 12 year stretch as a manager and director of Arc of Southern Maryland. She is pledged to Obama.

ROXANNE TAYLOR, 51, is CEO of Church Insurance Partnership Agency and lives in Bowie. She's been in insurance for 28 years, but the 2008 convention is her first foray into politics. After hearing Obama deliver his speech at the 2004 convention, she became an early devotee, joining a local campaign organization during the early stage of Obama's candidacy. She is pledged to Obama.

MARK COOK, 45, of College Park, is a College Park Councilmember. Cook organized a field canvass for Sen. Obama in Prince George's County before the primary election. Cook also runs a phone bank focusing on voter identification and volunteer recruitment in Virginia, as well as a Kids For Obama Poster Workshop. This is his first convention. Cook is pledged to Obama.

JUSTIN ROSS, 32, was born in Bowie and has lived in Prince George's county his entire life, including his college years, which he spent studying government at the University of Maryland. He is a real estate broker and a Maryland State Delegate for Prince George's County's 22nd district. Ross is pledged to Obama.

LEN LUCCHI, 50, of Bowie, is a partner at O'Malley Niles Nylen and Gilmore, P.A. Lucchi is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland School of Law. Lucchi has attended seven previous national conventions. This will be his second time serving as a delegate at a national convention. Lucchi is an alternate pledged to Obama.

Biographies of Key Maryland Add-on Delegates, Party Leaders, and Super Delegates (relative to So. Md.):

JULIE RANDALL, of Lexington Park, is a member of the St. Mary's County Democratic Central Committee, and the chair of the St. Mary's County Commission on Disabilities. She is the former president of the St. Mary's County Board of Commissioners and chair of St. Mary's County School Board. She was a senior manager for 25 years at Wyle, a national defense contractor. She is married with three daughters. She is an at-large, add-on delegate pledged to Obama.

STENY HOYER, 69, of Mechanicsville, is majority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Maryland's 5th District. He was first elected in 1981 and is serving his 14th term. Hoyer is a graduate of the University of Maryland and Georgetown University Law Center. He has three children. Hoyer is pledged to Obama.

MARTIN O'MALLEY, 45, of Annapolis, is governor of Maryland. Elected in 2006, he is serving his first term. He was mayor of Baltimore from 1999-2007. He served on the Baltimore city council from 1991-1999 and was an assistant state's attorney from 1988-1991. He is married to Catherine Curran O'Malley, a state district judge with whom he has four children. O'Malley is pledged to Obama.

BENJAMIN CARDIN, 64, is a U.S. senator for Maryland. He took office in 2007, after serving nearly 20 years as a Maryland congressman. He graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1967, and won a seat in the Maryland House of Delegates the same year. His legislative focuses are health care and retirement security. As a U.S. senator, Cardin is an unpledged super-delegate, but he endorsed Obama in June.

BARBARA MIKULSKI, 72, of Baltimore, is a member of the U.S. Senate. She was first elected in 1986 and is serving her fourth term. She was elected to the Baltimore City Council in 1971 and the U.S. House of Representatives in 1976. A Baltimore native, she graduated from Mount St. Agnes College and worked as a social worker and community activist. Mikulski is pledged to Obama.

PETER FRANCHOT, 60, of Takoma Park, became Maryland's State Comptroller in 2006. A delegate in the Maryland General Assembly for District 20 (Silver Spring and Takoma Park ) from 1987-2007, he served as chairman of the Transportation and Environment Subcommittees and as a member of the Appropriations Committee. He holds a bachelor's degree from Amherst College and a law degree from Northeastern University. He is a member of the NAACP and the Long Branch-Sligo Citizens' Association. He has been a Takoma Park youth soccer coach since 1986. He is married to Anne Maher and has two children. He is pledged to Obama.

DOUGLAS GANSLER, 45, became Maryland's attorney general in 2006 after eight years as Montgomery County's chief prosecutor and six as an assistant United States attorney. He is a graduate of Yale University and the University of Virginia School of Law, and a member of the Bar Association in Maryland and Washington. He is a member of the Montgomery County Commission on Aging and co-chair of the NAACP Criminal Justice Committee He lives in Montgomery County with his wife and two children. He is pledged to Obama. This is his first convention.

PARRIS GLENDENING, 66, served two terms as Maryland governor from 1995-2003. He is now the president of the Smart Growth Leadership Institute, an environmental research organization. He was the Prince George's County executive from 1982-1994 and prior to that served on the Prince George's County Council for eight years. He was an associate professor of government and politics at the University of Maryland from 1972-1994. He is married to Jennifer Crawford and has two children. He is an unpledged, add-on delegate, and has been a delegate to every Democratic convention since 1988.

NANCY K. KOPP, 64, of Bethesda, is state treasurer. Prior to her election in 2002, she represented the 16th District in the state House of Delegates from 1974-2002. She has a bachelor's degree from Wellesley College and a master's from the University of Chicago. She is married and has two children. Kopp is pledged to Clinton.

RICHARD MICHALSKI, of Upper Marlboro, is general vice president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. A former welder for General Electric, he first served as a delegate at the 1980 Democratic National Convention. Michalski is pledged to Clinton.

KATHLEEN KENNEDY TOWNSEND, 57, of Baltimore, was lieutenant governor of Maryland from 1995-2003 and unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2002. Townsend was a U.S. deputy assistant attorney general from 1993-1994 and was the founder and executive director of the Maryland Student Service Alliance from 1987-1993. She graduated from Harvard University in 1974 and received a law degree from the University of New Mexico in 1978. She is the daughter of Robert F. and Ethel Kennedy. Townsend is pledged to Clinton.

WAYNE CURRY, 57, of Upper Marlboro was Prince George's County executive from 1994-2002. Former Gov. Robert Ehrlich appointed Curry to the Maryland Port Commission in 2003, where he served until 2006. An attorney, he holds a bachelor's degree from McDaniel College (formerly Western Maryland College) and a law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law. He is married and has two children. This is his third convention, and he is an at-large delegate pledged to Clinton.

DONNA EDWARDS, 50, of Fort Washington, is a Congresswoman representing the 4th district of Maryland in the U.S. House of Representatives. She won a special election in June, and is the first African-American woman to hold this office in Maryland. She was previously the executive director of the Arca Foundation in Washington and the co-founder and executive director of the National Network to End Domestic Violence. She also worked on campaign finance reform issues as a lobbyist for Public Citizen and the Center for a New Democracy. Edwards received a bachelor's degree from Wake Forest University and a law degree from Franklin Pierce Law Center. She is an unpledged delegate, and this is her third convention.

Capital News Service contributed to this report.

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