ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Latest on the selection of a new Maryland House speaker (all times local):
In a dramatic surprise, a black woman who had dropped out of the race for Maryland's House speaker has won the powerful office.
Del. Adrienne Jones was unanimously elected by members of the House in a special session Wednesday.
Her election makes state history on two fronts: She is the first woman and the first African American to become Maryland's House speaker.
It happened as a result of division in the House Democratic Caucus over two candidates, Del. Maggie McIntosh and Del. Dereck Davis.
Jones, a Baltimore County Democrat, was approached by McIntosh and Davis, after hours of debate in the caucus, which includes 98 of the chamber's 141 members. Jones had dropped out last week to support Davis.
Del. Kumar Barve is calling the turn of events "the most incredible thing I've seen" in 28 years in the House.
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.
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.