Speaker Jones Likely More “Mother” Than “Coach” According to Colleagues

Washington Post article (2019-06-07) recounted the dramatic selection process that led to Delegate Adrienne Jones becoming Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates and how her leadership style will likely differ from that of former Speaker Michael Busch.

The article described how Busch passed away suddenly at the end of the 2019 Session and the sometimes tense contest that followed between Jones, Appropriations Committee Chair Maggie McIntosh, and Economic Matters Chair Dereck Davis to replace him. After initially withdrawing from consideration, Jones became the surprise consensus candidate after the Democratic Caucus remained split between McIntosh and Davis.

The article characterized Jones as a “widely respected, no-nonsense consensus builder” and several of her colleagues offered their thoughts on her leadership style:

“We had a coach,” said Del. Charles E. Sydnor III (D-Baltimore County), referring to Busch’s nickname. “We might have a mother this go-round, and I’m not talking about some pushover mother either.”

“I jokingly and lovingly call her Auntie Adrienne, because she’s like everyone’s favorite aunt,” said freshman Del. Gabriel Acevero (D-Montgomery). “She’s gracious and understanding but also unafraid to offer advice and constructive criticism.” …

“She’ll be a nurturer,” [Del. Tawanna Gaines (D-Prince George’s] said. “She’s not always going to say yes. But if she says no, she’ll do it in a respectful way.”

The article also highlighted Jones’ long background and career in government, including her 38-year career with Baltimore County in their Offices of Minority Affairs, Fair Practices and Community Affairs, and Human Resources.

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