Brian Feldman, who served 10 years in the Maryland House of Delegates, was named last week to fill the unexpired term of Maryland Sen. Rob Garagiola of District 15.
“He is an incredibly smart guy, a lawyer and an accountant,” said Ron Halber, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington. “His ascendency to the Senate is good for the Jewish community.”
Feldman said although he was changing his job title, he planned to continue his efforts in the fields of biotechnology and energy.
“I will focus on a lot of the same types of issues,” he said Friday, one day after Gov. Martin O’Malley
appointed him to the position.
“Going from the House to the Senate, I would say, doesn’t alter your basic responsibilities,” he said. “I am excited [to face] the new challenge.”
Feldman lives in Potomac, is married and is the father of two children. He said the future of Montgomery County — and Maryland in general — resides in the building up of biotech and tech centers, particularly along the Route 270 corridor. He said he also plans to focus on improving Pepco’s services to the community and bringing renewable energy resources here.
He just finished serving a 10-year term on the board at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington and still sits on committees there.
Halber said he has worked both openly and behind the scenes with Feldman on issues important to the Jewish community, including matters of funding.
“He is a very proud and committed Jew,” Halber noted.
The new state senator was chosen unanimously by the county’s Democratic committee. That group forwarded his name onto the governor. Because Garagiola, who left public service to return to the private sector, is a Dem-ocrat, it was the job of the Democrats to choose his successor.
Feldman became a state senator once O’Malley appointed him, but he officially was sworn in Tuesday at noon. His term expires in 2014, when he is then eligible to run for re-election.
Prior to holding state office, Feldman was an attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice. He was born in Pittsburgh and has a bachelor’s of science degree in accounting from Penn State University, a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and a master’s in government from Johns Hopkins University.
Feldman also served as an adviser to President Barack Obama’s Department of Justice transition team for Obama’s first term.
District 15 covers western and northern Montgomery County, inc-luding Rockville, Bethesda, Potomac and Gaithersburg, as well as Barnesville and Poolesville.