With plenty of pomp but no suspense, Dereck Davis was elected to a full, four-year term as Maryland’s state treasurer on Tuesday.
In brief remarks, Davis, a Democrat, pledged to take seriously his role as “one of the guardians of public dollars.” He also said he’d work to improve minority contracting in state government and to promote financial literacy.
The treasurer is responsible for managing the state’s funds and investments and holds one of three seats on the powerful Board of Public Works, which approves state contracts and activities on state lands and in state waters.
Rather than being elected by the state’s voters, the treasurer is selected by the Maryland General Assembly. Each delegate and senator has one vote, and because there are three times as many delegates as senators, the House of Delegates dominates the election process.
The vote was taken Tuesday during a joint session of the House of Delegates and state Senate, with lawmakers filling out secret paper ballots. The ballots were opened one-by-one by Secretary of the Senate Nicole M. Xander and read aloud by House Clerk Sylvia C. Siegert.
The outcome was never in doubt: Davis had already been serving in the position for just over a year and was recommended by a vetting committee of lawmakers.
Still, there were two votes that didn’t go for Davis, and they were clearly jokes. One was for Chuck Brown, the godfather of go-go, and the other was for Joe Bryce, a well-known Annapolis lobbyist who worked for two former governors.
“Chuck Brown, huh?” Davis said after he was elected. “There’s always one.”
After the tally was complete, Gov. Wes Moore and Lt. Gov. Aruna Miller were escorted into the House of Delegates chamber to witness as Davis took two oaths of office — one administered by House of Delegates Speaker Adrienne A. Jones, and one from Senate President Bill Ferguson.
Davis said he didn’t take the outcome for granted, and was actually nervous about oversleeping and risking drawing the ire of the notoriously prompt House speaker.
“Whenever you start thinking you have an election, then you’re close to losing it,” he said.