But she hasn’t ruled out any future run for another office.
Frederick, Md (KM). A local legislator is not seeking re-election next year. Frederick County Republican Delegate Kathy Afzali says she’s not running for a third term in the House of Delegates. Afzali says no one should hold political office indefinitely. She also says it’s time for someone with new ideas to come forward and serve. “And it’s time to pass the torch. And I couldn’t be more excited about doing that,” she said. “I’m excited there’s new people that have shown an interest in public office and I think it’s exciting.”
Afzali was first elected to the House of Delegates in 2010. During he GOP primary, she defeated long time Republican Delegate Paul Stull. She’s currently the ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee.
Delegate Afzali says one piece of legislation she pushed for was Anayah’s Law, which allows social workers to remove and refuse to return children to their parents if there’s a history of abuse. It’s named after Anayah Williams, a Frederick girl, who was placed in foster care at four-months after she had been abused., suffering from rib and a skull fractures. Anayah was returned to her biological parents and ended up getting beaten again. She died at age 21-months.
Her father and mother, Frankie Williams and Stephanie Ramirez Williams, were both charged in the girl’s death. Frankie Williams pleaded guilty to 1st-degree murder and was sentenced to life with all but 60-years suspended. Stephanie Ramirez Williams, was sentenced to 20-years in prison for her role in Anayah’s death.
The law would let local Departments of Social Services refused to return children to the parents who had abused them. “It really changed a pendulum swing that had gone way far on the wrong side, in my view, in regard to children in the state of Maryland,” Afzali says. “I feel like there is a child’s life that’s going to be saved and that’s really important for me.”
She also says she worked to get tax reform enacted, starting with farmers. “And then in 2014, we passed overall tax reform. And we will completely couple with the feds by 2019. And I think that was really largely my efforts. So I feel really proud about that.”
Afzali also says she pushed for bills covering Lyme Disease and estate tax relief.
Early on, Afzali says, she learned to reach across the aisle and work with Democrats, who control the General Assembly. “You can’t be in Annapolis more than seven-minutes to realize where the power is. So as a Republican, if you want to get anything done, you really do have to be friends and work collaboratively,” she says.
Even though Afzali is stepping down as a Delegate, she says she won’t slow down, especially after the 2018 General Assembly gets underway. “The most important part of the race, I think, is often the finish. I intend to finish well, and to finish big. I have ideas for bills coming up this year. It’s going to be a huge year, 2018, be very active in the election,” she says.
There have been rumors that Afzali plans to run for County Executive next year. “I’m keeping my cards close to my chest,” she says. “And, yes, that’s one of the possibilities.”
By Kevin McManus