Del. Erek Barron (D- District 24) was nominated by President Joe Biden as the next U.S. Attorney for Maryland. (Courtesy Photo)

By Micha Green
D.C. and Digital Editor
mgreen@afro.com

Prince George’s County Delegate Erek Barron (D-District 24) is on the verge of making history.  President Joe Biden nominated Barron, 47, to serve as the next U.S. Attorney for Maryland, a move that, if confirmed, would make the local politician the first Black person to hold the position as well as the first Democrat in the role in two decades.

Barron, who has served in the Maryland House of Delegates since 2015, was one of several history-making nominations by President Biden for U.S. Attorney positions.

“These individuals — many of whom are historic firsts — were chosen for their devotion to enforcing the law, their professionalism, their experience and credentials in this field, their dedication to pursuing equal justice for all, and their commitment to the independence of the Department of Justice,” the White House said in a statement on July 26.

The District 24 Delegate worked with the man who nominated him for the position- President Biden. Barron worked as then Senator Biden’s counsel and policy adviser from 2007 to 2009. The attorney and politician also was part of the Obama-Biden transition team serving with the justice and civil rights review contingent.

Barron, a Bowie resident, spent his professional formative years and career in the D.M.V.  He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maryland College Park and his J.D. from the George Washington University Law Center.  

Before his service in Maryland’s House of Delegates in 2015, the defense attorney worked as a federal prosecutor in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and as a prosecutor in the Prince George’s and Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office. 

Maryland Senators Chris Van Hollen (D) and Ben Cardin (D) celebrated Barron’s nomination as they were responsible for recommending the Delegate to the President.

“Our state must have a U.S. attorney who is fiercely committed to delivering equal justice under the law to every Marylander. Erek Barron’s tireless efforts to build a better, fairer justice system in Maryland, his years of experience serving our constituents, and his deep understanding of the challenges we face qualify him as an outstanding nomination for this position,” Sen. Van Hollen said in a statement. “Together with Senator Cardin, I was proud to recommend Erek to serve in this role, and I know he will work with us to improve public safety, address gun violence, uphold the City of Baltimore’s consent decree, and strengthen our justice system.”

Cardin noted Barron’s wealth of experiences in relation to the needs of the State, as the reason he and Sen. Van Hollen felt the District 24 Delegate would be the perfect candidate for the next U.S. Attorney for Maryland.

“Maryland needs a U.S. Attorney with integrity and independence, as well as the strength and experience to tackle the unacceptably high level of violent crime in Baltimore City. With Senator Van Hollen, I was proud to recommend Erek Barron for this position as a guardian of the civil rights and civil liberties of all Marylanders,” Maryland’s senior Senator said in a statement. “Erek has demonstrated a passion for public service throughout his entire career and he will bring to this position a unique set of professional experiences and skills that will serve Marylanders well. His track record of enacting reforms to the criminal justice system and serving as a federal and state prosecutor- including prosecuting cases in Baltimore City and Prince George’s County- make him well-positioned to take on this lead federal law enforcement role for our state.”

If confirmed Barron would fill the position held by U.S. Attorney Robert Hur, who resigned in February 2021. Jonathan Lenzner is currently serving as Acting U.S. Attorney for Maryland.

Both the junior and senior Maryland Senators thanked Lenzner for his service. “We thank Acting U.S. Attorney Jonathan Lenzner for his outstanding service.  In February, when Robert Hur retired, Jonathan stepped in seamlessly during the transition to become the Acting U.S. Attorney after serving as the First Assistant U.S. Attorney for several years,” Van Hollen and Cardin said. “We particularly appreciate JOnathan’s focus on reducing violent crime in Baltimore through his close partnership with state and local officials in coordination with the Baltimore Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF).  Jonathan should be proud of his tireless work to improve the quality of life of Marylanders and uphold the rule of law, consistent with the highest ideals of the U.S. Department of Justice.

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Micha Green

AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor