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Cherri Branson Appointed to Fill Valerie Ervin's Vacant Council Seat

The Montgomery County Council appointed and swore in a successor on Tuesday to fill the District 5 county council seat recently vacated by Valerie Ervin.

Cherri Branson was sworn in on Jan. 28 as the new county council member representing District 5 through Dec. 1, 2014. Courtesy of the Montgomery County Council.
Cherri Branson was sworn in on Jan. 28 as the new county council member representing District 5 through Dec. 1, 2014. Courtesy of the Montgomery County Council.
The Montgomery County Council appointed a successor to Valerie Ervin on Tuesday: Cherri Branson is the new county council member representing District 5 through Dec. 1, 2014.

Ervin resigned from her council seat on Jan. 3 to become executive director for nonprofit organization Center for Working Families in New York City, Patch reported. The county council "is required by law to appoint a successor to fill her unexpired term after the resignation is effective," The Washington Post reported.

Branson was chosen from among 13 applicants who were interviewed this month by the council. Members of the public were invited to sit in on the interviews, and applicants needed to be registered Democrats (like Ervin) and have no intention of running for a council seat in the next election, Patch reported.

"Cherri Branson has outstanding civic and professional experience, and the council looks forward to her service," Council President Craig Rice said in a statement.

"We were fortunate to have many excellent applicants, and our decision was a difficult one. We deeply appreciate their willingness to serve the community," Rice said. 

Branson received a bachelor's degree form Vassar College, a law degree from Indiana University School of Law and a postgraduate law degree from Emory University School of Law. Branson has held key staff positions in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1989, and is chief counsel for oversight on the Democratic staff of the House Committee on Homeland Security. She has been president of the African-American Democratic Club of Montgomery County, and the county council appointed her as a member of Montgomery County’s Commission on Redistricting in 2011. She also has served as a member of the Charter Review Commission, according to a council news release.

"I am honored to be appointed to the Montgomery County Council," Branson said in a statement.

"I am familiar with many of the key issues facing the county and the council, and I will work quickly to learn more. I pledge to effectively represent the residents of District 5—and all the people of Montgomery County," she added.

District 5 includes the communities of Briggs Chaney, Burnt Mills, Burtonsville, Calverton, Cloverly, Colesville, Fairland, Four Corners, Hillandale, Lyttonsville, Silver Spring, Takoma Park and White Oak, according to the county's website.

Branson's swearing-in ceremony took place at 4 p.m. Tuesday in the Montgomery County Council Office Building in Rockville. The ceremony—which was broadcast, live, on the county cable channel—will be available later on demand.

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