By Mark F. Gray
AFRO Staff Writer
Candace Hollingsworth had been balancing on the tightrope between activism and politics during a year of political upheaval and social unrest. It led to her starting a grassroots organization to protect voting rights, while governing Hyattsville. Hollingsworth, who the AFRO reported on recently after she helped launch ‘Our Black Party,’ has announced her resignation as Mayor of the Prince George’s County community to focus specifically on the organization effective Dec. 31.
“I’m comfortable with my decision because I think we’re leaving the city in a better place,” Hollingsworth told the AFRO. “I’m jumping out on faith to grow O.B.P.”
Hollingsworth made the announcement via Facebook on Nov. 10 just over three days after the Joe Biden Kamala Harris presidential ticket had been declared winner of the 2020 election. However, the pushback from the Donald Trump administration to concede amplified her focus on voting rights legislation and other issues of importance to progressives around the nation that prompted her decision. Those were the core principles of the decision.
“In June, I helped found a new political organization, Our Black Party, to help pass policies at every level of government that will improve the quality of life for Black people in this country,” she wrote. The only boundaries for that vision are those of the United states… I believe in it and I believe in Our Black Party and that belief alone is enough for me to pour my energy into bringing it to life.”
Hollingsworth has been in public service to Hyattsville since 2011, when she was first elected to the City Council. She ran unopposed for mayor and was first elected Mayor in 2015, becoming the city’s first Black woman to hold the office. However, the outgoing mayor lost a close election to Prince George’s County Councilor Deni Taveras, who made a successful bid for a second term in 2018. Hollingsworth came back to win a second term as Mayor in Hyattsville’s 2019 elections, with a landslide victory of challenger Angela Kenny by a margin of 1,243 – 201 votes.
Despite the commitment to her community, Hollingsworth recognized a calling that would take her away from governing a municipality she calls home to do a greater good for the nation. She found her voice with Our Black Party and is ready to use the skills she’s developed as a policy maker and legislator to influence future social and political decisions that will affect areas of disenfranchisement around the country.
“Unfortunately, I must let go to make room for the work I feel pulled toward,” said Hollingsworth in her message. “Because I care so deeply about this city and its future, I know it deserves more than what I am able to give.”
The city’s charter calls for the President of the City Council to be appointed acting mayor until the next scheduled election. Kevin Ward will handle the daily mayoral duties starting on January 1, 2021 through the city’s next election that includes the race for Hollingsworth’s replacement in May.