Saturday, March 08, 2014 7:53 AM
Published on: Thursday, January 30, 2014
By Donna Broadway
ROCKVILLE- The Montgomery County Council unanimously voted Cherri Branson to fill Valerie Ervin’s vacant district 5 council seat Tuesday.
Branson, chief counsel for oversight on the democratic staff of the House Committee on Homeland Security, will complete Ervin’s unexpired time which ends on December 1, 2014. Ervin resigned on January 3, 2014 to take a new job as executive director for the Center for Working Families in New York.
“I am honored to be appointed to the Montgomery County Council,” said Branson. “I am familiar with many of the key issues facing the county and the Council, and I will work quickly to learn more. I pledge to effectively represent the residents of District 5 and all the people of Montgomery County.”
Branson is a graduate of Vassar College (B.A.), Indiana University School of Law (J.D.), and Emory University School of Law (LL.M.), Ms. Branson has held key staff positions in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1989. She has served as president of the African American Democratic Club of Montgomery County. The Council appointed her as a member of the County’s Commission on Redistricting in 2011. She has also served as a member of the Charter Review Commission.
Branson beat out 18 applicants including former state delegate Herman L. Taylor II, Silver Spring community organizer Ronnie Galvin , Andrew Kleine, city budget chief for Baltimore, Jay Hutchins 2010 state delegate candidate, Michael Diegel, chair of the Silver Spring Arts & Entertainment District Advisory Committee, and Tim Male, a Takoma Park city council member since 2011.
“Cherri Branson has outstanding civic and professional experience, and the Council looks forward to her service,” said Council President Craig Rice. “We were fortunate to have many excellent applicants, and our decision was a difficult one. We deeply appreciate their willingness to serve the community.”
Branson was sworn in on Tuesday evening by Loretta Knight, Clerk of the Circuit Court. Ervin’s former staff will keep their positions as members of Branson’s staff. Branson will receive the full county councilman salary.
Candidates for the 2014 election include Evan Glass, an organizer from Silver Spring and Jeffrey Thames.