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House back to full membership after new delegates are sworn in

The Maryland House of Delegates is back to full membership following the swearing in of the chamber’s two newest members.

Dels. Ryan Spiegel (D-Montgomery) and Malcolm P. Ruff (D-Baltimore City) were sworn in Thursday in separate ceremonies by House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D-Baltimore County). Both are assigned to the House Appropriations Committee.

Jones, in opening remarks, said hopefully that Ruff’s ceremony is “the last delegate that I have to do prior to session” in 2024.

Jones has sworn in eight new members of her 141-seat chamber in just the first few months of the new term.

Six House veterans were appointed by Gov. Wes Moore (D) to state positions. Two others vacated their seats to fill openings in the Senate following other appointments by the governor.

Spiegel, 45, and a former Gaithersburg City Council member, fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Kumar P. Barve. He was appointed in June to fill the seat.

Barve, a 32-year veteran of the House and chair of the Environment and Transportation Committee, resigned earlier this year to accept an appointment to the Public Service Commission.

“The opportunity to serve is a gift and I’ve been blessed and honored to have this opportunity to serve in a number of ways in my personal and professional life,” said Spiegel.

Spiegel’s swearing in date had extra meaning: it fell on his birthday. Spiegel said Jones’ staff offered to change the date so as not to interfere with any plans.

“And I said ‘Oh, that’s my birthday,'” said Spiegel. “And they very graciously said, ‘oh, we don’t want to intrude on any special plans you have.’ And I said, ‘Are you kidding me?’”

He’ll join the all-Democratic District 17 delegation — Sen. Cheryl Kagan and Dels. Julie Palakovich Carr and Joe Vogel.

Ruff, a 39-year-old civil rights attorney, replaces District 41 former Del. Tony Bridges, who was appointed assistant secretary in the Maryland Department of Transportation by Moore. Ruff was one of two names forwarded to Moore by the Baltimore City Democratic State Central Committee in June, and the governor selected Ruff over former Del. Angela Gibson (D).

He joins a district team of legislators that includes Democratic Dels. Samuel I. “Sandy” Rosenberg and Dalya Attar as well as Sen. Jill P. Carter (D).

“To my new colleagues, I’m ready for this new journey with you all,” said Ruff. “To Delegate Rosenberg and Delegate Attar, to my great friend Jill, I thank you all for your support. I look forward to fighting with you all and making sure this is a place where everyone is loved and can experience love aways.”

Ruff is a litigator with the Baltimore law firm of Murphy, Falcon & Murphy, which is run by the former judge and civil rights attorney Billy Murphy.

Ruff and Murphy represented clients in several high-profile police abuse cases. He won a $20 million settlement for the family of William Green, a Prince George’s County man who was in custody when he was shot to death by a Prince George’s County police officer. The settlement is one of the largest in a police brutality case in the nation.


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