Mary Washington was on the ballot two weeks ago vying for election to the Maryland Senate, but it took until last Friday for her victory to finally be announced. The delay sprang from a combination of two precincts opening late and extending voting hours which delayed the vote count, and a close margin necessitating the input of absentee and provisional ballots to establish a clear winner. Mary was up by over 500 votes on election night, but neither she nor her opponent, Sen. Jean Carter Conway, were willing to call it. Her lead sprouted despite trailing earlier that day. By Friday of that week, that margin was down to 469 votes with all precincts reporting. The Baltimore Sun stated that the margin would make it difficult for Conway to pull off a win with the remaining absentee and provisional ballots.
The call was finally made on Friday, July 6th—Delegate Washington has defeated Sen. Joan Carter Conway to take her seat in the Maryland Senate, representing their North Baltimore district. The unofficial margin that night was 492 votes. Conway has held her seat for 22 years and chairs the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee. Her loss marks an upset and a huge win for Mary, who is a two-term delegate. Mary celebrated her victory with a Facebook post thanking her supporters, stating that “Together, we made a difference.”
In 2010, Mary made history when she became the first openly LGBT African-American elected official in the state of Maryland, and only the second in the country. In her seven years in the House of Delegates, she has served as House Chair of the Joint Committee on Homelessness, and as a member of the Joint Committee on Children Youth and Families, the House Appropriations Committee, and the House Ways and Means Committee, among others. She was the Deputy Majority Whip in 2015-16 and is currently a member of Women Legislators of Maryland and the Legislative Black Caucus. She is also an associate member of the Latino Legislative Caucus.
Del. Washington ran her campaign on a platform of education, job training, safe and affordable communities, a living wage and economic security, and social justice. Highlights included expanding college access regardless of income, increasing gun control, investing in police reform, increasing the minimum wage to at least $15 per hour, and continuing to advocate for vulnerable populations, including homeless youth. She hopes to work towards these goals while continuing the progress she made as a delegate. She regularly updates her constituents on her achievements through “The Washington Report” on her website, which you can read here.
Victory is proud to stand with Mary and congratulates her on her historic win.