Announced via email on November 29th:
With gratitude and also some sadness, I am announcing that I will not seek another term as your state delegate for Howard County.
Thirty-six years ago, I could not have imagined how difficult it would be to decide to leave a job I had never intended to hold. All I wanted back then was for my daughter and her classmates to be able take a test while seated in a classroom instead of on the cafetorium stage floor at their crowded school, then Whiskey Bottom Elementary. That first People for Pendergrass campaign was built with energetic friends and neighbors, bake sales, meetings around the dining room table, rallies at Carroll Baldwin Hall and a lot of door-knocking. We were political novices, but we were determined to improve our community.
The journey since has been as rewarding as it was improbable. As it turned out, I wanted to work on so much more, including establishing Howard County’s first adequate public facilities law, making health insurance affordable for more Marylanders, protecting women’s access to abortion, maintaining a not-for-profit health insurer in Maryland, codifying a patient’s bill of rights, bolstering our public health system, addressing minority health disparities in our state, safeguarding the separation of church and state, and, most recently, battling a pandemic. Although I was unable to see the passage of End of Life Option legislation, the discussion was important, and I hope that one day Marylanders will have this right.
Being in a position to help improve the lives of Howard Countians and Marylanders has been the greatest honor. Each year has brought unique opportunities and challenges, hard-fought successes, frustrating disappointments and the determination to do it all again the next year. It has been a joy to work with my colleagues and with advocates, whose hard work on complicated issues allowed us to achieve so much. Now, though, I look forward to serving for the remainder of my term and then moving on to new adventures.
Many thanks to each of you who has supported me with your time, enthusiasm, insights, donations and votes while trusting me to represent you over the years. I am very proud of what we accomplished together.