Delegate Talmadge Branch
Majority Whip of the Maryland House of Delegates
Since Baltimoreans first elected Delegate Talmadge Branch to the Maryland General Assembly in 1994, he has earned a reputation as an effective consensus builder, skillful negotiator, and polished statesman. In his present role as Majority Whip, the third most powerful position in the House of Delegates, Del. Branch’s balanced approach to even the most divisive policy issues has earned him praise on both sides of the aisle. His breadth of political experience spans local, state, and federal government and has included national public service as a Delegate to the Democratic National Convention. He served as Vice Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party from 2010-2011.
He is credited widely as one of the most effective leaders of the Maryland Legislative Black Caucus in the history of the organization. During his tenure as Chair of the Caucus from 2000-2002, he re-energized the organization’s purpose and strengthened its esprit de corps while providing strategic leadership to Caucus priorities such as racial profiling, voter registration, and employment opportunities for qualified ex-felons.
Del. Branch is a featured speaker at churches, civic groups, and other organizations, and he continues to represent the constituents of the 45th Legislative District for the 23rd year.
Capitol Hill Experience
Delegate Talmadge Branch served as Special Assistant to Congressman Parren J. Mitchell working on policy issues for the district.
Del. Branch’s political career began during an internship with the Baltimore City Council and while campaigning in 1982 for Rep. Parren J. Mitchell, Maryland’s first African-American Congressman. The following year Del. Branch was appointed Special Assistant, a post he held until the Congressman’s retirement in 1986. He broadened his national perspective with work on behalf of the Minority Business Enterprise Legal Defense and Education Fund, where he influenced national legislation as a registered lobbyist on Capitol Hill. He has garnered national attention on CBS Evening News for his leadership of Operation Drug-Out, a program targeted to reducing guns and drugs in schools. Subsequently he earned distinction as the Young Democrat of the Year for his efforts..
Record of effectiveness
Able to strike a balance between his 125,000 constituents in Baltimore City and statewide matters, Del. Branch’s leadership and influence has been felt across Maryland.
Del. Branch is a leading member of the influential Economic Matters Committee. As a previous member of the House Appropriations Committee – which included a stint as the committee’s Vice Chair from 2003-2007 – he spearheaded landmark legislation, most notably the Child Welfare Accountability Act that protects all vulnerable children in Maryland. Del. Branch also garnered and utilized this wealth of experience in his previous role on the Ways & Means Committee. His influence is felt on the state’s operating and capital budgets by many Maryland citizens: energy assistance to low-income residents with heating and electric bills; enhanced pension benefits for teachers and state employees; state resources to communities suffering the effects of gang violence; prescription drug benefits for vulnerable senior citizens, and access to and proper care in nursing homes.