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Crowded field files to replace former Prince George鈥檚 County Council Member Mel Franklin

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A crowded field of candidates is lining up to fill the vacant at-large seat on the Prince George鈥檚 County Council, with just one month until the primary in the special election.

At least 13 people 鈥 nine Democrats and four Republicans 鈥 had filed a certificate of candidacy by Friday鈥檚 deadline.

According to the website, the Democratic candidates include County Council Chair Jolene Ivey, state Del. Marvin E. Holmes Jr., former Del. Angela M. Angel, Bowie Mayor Tim Adams, Tamara Davis Brown, Gabriel Njinimbot, Keisha D. Lewis, Judy Mickens-Murray and Leo Bachi Eyombo.

The state board also reported that Republicans Kamita Gray, Michael Riker, Isaac Toyos and Jonathan White had filed for the seat.

All the candidates will run in a special primary election scheduled for Aug. 6, with early voting to run from July 31 to Aug. 5. The winner would run in the Nov. 5 general election, the same day as the presidential election.

They are running to replace former at-large County Council Member Mel Franklin (D), who abruptly resigned on June 14 after serving 14 years on the council. Less than a week later, were filed against Franklin for multiple counts in what authorities said was a campaign theft scheme that involved more than $133,000 from his campaign account.

The winner of this fall鈥檚 special election would serve the remaining two years of Franklin鈥檚 term.

Belinda Queen, a community activist and former Prince George鈥檚 school board member, said the county might have to pay for another special election, depending on who wins.

An Ivey victory would require an election to fill her current seat representing the county鈥檚 District 5, an area that includes Bladensburg, Cheverly and Glenarden. Ivey has another two years on her four-year term. Other county elected officials have been mentioned as possible candidates, but none were on state or county lists as of Friday evening.

鈥淭he taxpayers will have to pay for that,鈥 Queen said. 鈥淚 get why all of them are running 鈥 to see about wanting to serve in a larger position.鈥

She believes most voters will support Ivey, who鈥檚 already known in the county with her position on the council.

Ivey鈥檚 campaign has already mailed fliers to Democratic voters that include a family portrait with her husband, Rep. Glenn Ivey (D-4th) and their children, a summary of her legislative work and an endorsement from former County Executive Rushern L. Baker III.

Meanwhile, Queen, who isn鈥檛 supporting any candidate, offered advice for all the candidates.

鈥淭he most objective way to get your voice out there is to go in the grocery store and meet the people. That鈥檚 the best thing to do,鈥 Queen said.

The other known candidates include:

Holmes, who has served as a state delegate for more than 20 years. He鈥檚 one of the leading voices on housing topics as chair of the Housing and Real Property Subcommittee on the House Environment and Transportation Committee.

Adams, who became Bowie鈥檚 first Black mayor in 2019. He鈥檚 also the owner of a multimillion-dollar company in the county called Systems Applications & Technologies Inc. (SA-TECH).

Davis Brown, an attorney and community activist, ran in the May 2022 Democratic primary for the District 26 legislative seat against state Sen. C. Anthony Muse (D). She lost by 345 votes.

Angel, a former state delegate, sought in December to represent legislative District 25.

Mickens-Murray is a former school board member who was appointed in 2021. State law passed a year later removed all four appointed members starting this month and will make the body a fully elected board to represent nine districts.

Njinimbot, an entrepreneur, ran an unsuccessful congressional campaign in this year鈥檚 May primary against Ivey. 聽He came in second place, but only garnered 4,366, or 5.5%, of the vote.

Bachi Eyombo sought the at-large seat in the Democratic primary election. So did White, an Air Force veteran who鈥檚 now running as a registered Republican.

Riker is a retired Prince George鈥檚 County Police officer.

Toyos did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.

The state Board of Elections updated the list of candidates at 9:22 p.m. Friday with Lewis and Gray, but no information was immediately available on them.

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