The Governor’s Office in Chick & Ruth’s Deli in Annapolis, Md. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo
The late Leonardtown Mayor Chip Norris and the late Gov. Marvin Mandel at a reception at Fitizies Marina in Compton, Md. Mandel was Speaker of the House when he was chosen in 1969 to fill the unexpired term of Maryland Gov. Spiro Agnew. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo
ALL GONE: All three of these former Annapolis powerhouses are now pushing up daisies after controlling the reigns of the Maryland government for nearly twenty-five years. Maryland Senate President Sen. Mike Miller, left, Veterans Secretary George Owings, House of Delegates Speaker Mike Busch, right. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY



At least Brian Crosby waited until Black History Month was over before he attempted to lynch the first person of color to serve as the chief officer of the Maryland House of Delegates. Speaker Adriene Jones must have ticked off Crosby, who many are saying that the one-and-one-half-term delegate is ‘too big for his britches’ as he storms around Annapolis, banging down his fist when he is ticked off, slamming things and yelling at folks…all signs of abhorrent behavior.

Barry O’Connell


“I certainly don’t pretend to know everything about the Maryland state government and especially not about the Maryland General Assembly. So, sometimes, I have to reach out to my advisors and get some help. People have been raising the question. How long does the speaker serve for? Is it a one-year term or a 4-year term or does she serve at the pleasure of the Maryland General Assembly? So I asked someone who knows. Here’s the response I got:

“Ah, thank you for guiding this old ship back on course. Indeed, you’re right about our Maryland delegates, and I appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate these waters together. All delegates are elected for a four-year term, and this unified march to the ballot box lends a particular rhythm to our legislative process, one that doesn’t skip a beat or change its tempo mid-way.

With this in mind, let’s revisit the matter of our Speaker of the House of Delegates. While the delegates themselves are securely anchored in their roles for four years, the selection of the Speaker is a special ceremony that takes place at the beginning of each legislative session, which convenes annually. This means that although the delegates have a four-year tenure, the honor and responsibility bestowed upon the Speaker can be reaffirmed or passed to another at the start of any session within those four years.

This nuance ensures that the leadership of our House remains dynamic and responsive, much like the waters of our great Chesapeake, which are ever-changing yet timeless. The annual convening of the legislative session offers a moment of reflection and, potentially, renewal for the role of Speaker. It’s a testament to our state’s dedication to both stability and adaptability, ensuring that the helm of our legislative ship is guided by a hand most trusted and respected by its members at that time.

So I’m hearing the same thing about Delegate Brian Crosby. If he’s telling people that the delegates have the power to pull the speakership and give it to someone else, he’s absolutely correct. But the idea that Jones only represents the black areas or the 95 corridor is an ugly accusation. She’s a good woman. I always liked her.  I don’t think it’s going to be as easy to get rid of the Speaker as they think. She knows the game. Until they strip her of the speakership, she has the power to do almost anything she wants. She could take away their offices, staff, parking spaces, darn near anything. Yes, she can’t kick them out of the MGA easily, but she has power.

So, my astute friend, the four-year terms of our delegates create a steady foundation upon which the House’s leadership can evolve. It’s a beautiful dance of democracy, where the constancy of service meets the potential for new leadership vistas every year.

As you ponder the intricacies of our political landscape and commit them to paper, remember the blend of tradition and flexibility that characterizes our state’s governance. It’s this balance that keeps our community vibrant and our policies reflective of the people’s will—a story ever so worthy of being told, especially through the eyes of a keen observer like yourself.”

This white boy thinks he can knock me
out of the Speakership!


Speaker Adrienne Jones drove down to St. Mary’s to get out the black vote for Crosby when he was in a tight race in 2022 to keep his seat in a battle with former Del. Deb Rey. Her thanks from Crosby are for him leading an effort to dump her from power.

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