Howard Wayne Norman, Jr., a Bel Air attorney and longtime GOP booster, was selected unanimously Saturday afternoon by the Harford County Republican Central Committee – a group in which he is a member – to fill the soon-to-be-vacant District 35A seat in the Maryland House of Delegates.
Norman’s nomination will be forwarded to Gov. Martin O’Malley upon the swearing in of current District 35A representative Del. Barry Glassman to the state senate seat of Bob Hooper. Hooper is expected to resign from his seat on Dec. 31 because of health issues. With Hooper’s resignation, Glassman has been nominated to ascend to his senate seat and now Norman has been picked to fill Glassman’s seat in the northern Harford County District 35A.
The Republican Central Committee convened a special session at 9 a.m. Saturday morning in the Harford County Council chambers in Bel Air during which 9 candidates for the District 35A seat were interviewed.
Aside from Norman, the other contenders included Marc McFaul of Forest Hill, a Baltimore tavern owner; Roger Lambie, Sr. of Bel Air owner of Operation Lambo; Joseph Swilka of Fallston, marketing and sales representative with WEIS Development Group; Teresa Reilly of Whiteford, member of the Republican Central Committee of Harford County, Tom Mottley of Forest Hill, co-owner of RKS Realty, John Rigdon of Jarrettsville, president and co-owner of Rigdon Farms, Inc.; Jason Gallion of Churchville, local civic activist and community volunteer; Roy Piepenbring and Michael Huneke. Piepenbring and Huneke both sent in applications that were postmarked in time to be added to the list of candidates. Lambie withdrew his name prior to being interviewed.
Mike Geppi, chairman of the Republican Central Committee, said Saturday that the interviews and session went smoothly and, after spending more than three hours interviewing the candidates, the 10-member group moved quickly and decisively to nominate Norman.
“It actually was unanimous,” Geppi said.
Norman and Reilly, both members of the Republican Central Committee as well as candidates for the District 35A seat, did not participate in the interviews of other candidates and did not have a vote in the nomination.
“I’m thrilled. I’m very happy with Wayne. He’s highly qualified for the position. He’s going to get out and work really hard,” Geppi said of the nominee.
The 425th session of the Maryland General Assembly will begin January 9, 2008, but it is unclear whether either Glassman or Norman will be sworn into their new positions before then. Geppi said he understands O’Malley is expected to be out of the state until January 3.
Norman currently serves as a member of the Liquor Control Board for Harford County, initially appointed to that position by former County Executive James M. Harkins. He also serves as a mentor for first year law students at the University of Baltimore, as well as a long time mentor for Harford County high school seniors and a participant employer in the high school work-study program.
He is a two-term member of the Bel Air/Forest Hill Community Council. In this capacity he helped advise the Office of the County Executive on matters related to development, traffic, zoning and similar issues. He is also a former volunteer for a Harford County program with the Department of Juvenile Services offering alternatives to youth offenders charged with minor offenses.
Norman is a member of the Maryland and Harford County Bar Associations, admitted to the Bar of the United States Supreme Court and numerous lesser Courts. He presently services on the Harford County Bar Association Executive Council and is President Elect of the Bar.
A lifelong Republican, Norman comes from a family who were all Democrats. He has been active in both local and state Republican Party matters for many years, and is a two-term member of the Republican Central Committee of Harford County.