Harford County Democratic Central Committee Begins Search To Fill Bennett’s Vacant Council Seat


The Harford County Council building in Bel Air (Credit: Van Fisher/ Patch)

HAVRE DE GRACE - In an email newsletter sent out on Tuesday night, The Harford County Democratic Central Committee announced they are looking to fill the vacancy on the Harford County Council left by Jacob Bennett.

On February 15, Judge Richard Bernhardt ruled that Bennett may not simultaneously hold positions as a Harford County Public School Teacher and a county council member. His ruling was based on a Harford County Charter provision stating that a “council member shall not hold any other office of profit or employment in the government of the State of Maryland, Harford County, or any municipality within Harford County.”

The county charter states that the process for filling a council vacancy begins with the central committee of the party of the previous council member nominating three members for council consideration.

Suppose the council does not select a candidate within 60 days of the vacancy, which started February 15. In that case, Harford County Executive Bob Cassilly can choose a replacement from the central committee’s list of nominees.

Bennett has appealed the circuit court’s ruling and seeks to stay in office. He filed a motion on February 17 that would have permitted him to remain in his council seat as he appealed the ruling. That motion was denied on February 21.

In their letter, the Harford County Democratic Central Committee reiterated their support for Bennett and commended him for flipping District F’s council seat.

“The HCDCC continues to stand with elected Councilman Bennett in his fight to represent District F on the Harford County Council and will work with him as he obtains clarity on the eligibility of educators to serve under the County Charter. We commend Councilman Bennett in his successful election by Council District F voters to serve as their representative to the Harford County Council. His work to flip District F was truly impressive and we thank him, his wife and supporters for the spirited campaign that put a second Democrat on the Harford County Council.”

According to Harford County Democratic Central Committee Chair Henry Gibbons, more information on the applicants for the vacancy will soon be available.

The committee is scheduled to hold a public meeting on March 28 to consider the applications.

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