Hyattsville Mayor Candace Hollingsworth will resign from the city’s top seat, ending a nine-year career on City Council and six years as mayor. Hollingsworth announced her resignation in a message posted on Facebook at 11:30 a.m. on Nov. 10, 2020. In her message, Hollingsworth thanked her constituents for their support, and said she would be turning her attention to the development of Our Black Party, a new political party she co-founded over the summer focused on improving the lives of African Americans through policymaking at all levels of government.
“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.”
According to Hyattsville Clerk Laura Reams, Hollingsworth’s resignation is effective Dec. 31, 2020. According to Hyattsville’s City Charter, in the event of a vacancy in the mayor’s position, the President of the Council will serve as Mayor until a new Mayor is elected. Council President Kevin Ward will serve as mayor of Hyattsville beginning Jan. 1, 2021. The City will hold its regularly scheduled election in May 2021, which will include an election for the position of Mayor for the two-year balance of Hollingsworth’s term.
Hollingsworth most-recently won a second term as Mayor in Hyattsville’s 2019 elections, defeating challenger Angela Kenny 1,243 votes to 201. She was first elected Mayor in 2015, running unopposed. In between, in 2018, she narrowly lost to Prince George’s County Councilor Deni Taveras, who was running for a second term. She was first elected to City Council 2011.
Hollingsworth, when elected mayor in 2015, became the first African American mayor of Hyattsville.
In her message, Hollingsworth highlighted the city’s accomplishments during her time on City Council, including major infrastructure projects such as the construction of a new police station and public works buildings, efforts to expand the vote, and more recent efforts to support residents impacted by the pandemic.
“Over the past nine years, we have become well-respected among our peer municipalities because of our organizational stability, stellar programs and services, progressive policies, and our real—emotional and financial—investment in our community,” said Hollingsworth. “We invest in youth and young adults more than ever before. Critical infrastructure and facility projects are completed or in progress. Our parks and public spaces are more welcoming, inviting, and attractive.”
In a Nov. 10, 2020, interview with Route 1 Reporter conducted shortly after her announcement, Hollingsworth said her greatest accomplishment is that city residents “expect more from us.”
“Our residents have high expectations of what we can do,” said Hollingsworth. “We started to build a government that will be responsive to what our community needs.”
Asked to give advice to the next mayor of Hyattsville, Hollingsworth said it’s crucial for leaders to “understand that Hyattsville is not just the wonderful news articles” and hot-neighborhood lists written about its trendy, redeveloping areas.
“There is so much under the surface that doesn’t strike the attention of people who are trying to get folks to move here. Leading the city is not about making these lists,” said Hollingsworth.
Rather, said Hollingsworth, to lead Hyattsville effectively “means paying attention to communities that are still in hiding. It means paying attention to working families in particular, where they are working paycheck to paycheck…it’s about making sure we have programs and services that address the greatest needs and addresses them in an equitable fashion.”
Editor’s note:Route 1 Reporter is – normally – a subscriber-supported local news website. In the interest of the public discourse, this article is available for free. If you like the reporting, please support Route 1 Reporter on Patreon.