Del. John Adams Hurson, a Montgomery County Democrat who recently completed a year as president of the National Conference of State Legislatures, said yesterday he is resigning from the General Assembly to join a Washington trade association.
Hurson, 51, accepted a position as executive vice president for government affairs with the Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association. He starts Sept. 2, and his legislative resignation takes effect Sept. 30.
"It's a very good time for me to be making this change," said Hurson, a former longtime majority leader who has wielded considerable influence in Annapolis as chairman of the Health and Government Operations Committee.
Several Annapolis sources said Del. Peter A. Hammen, a Baltimore Democrat and vice chairman of the committee, is among the top candidates to succeed Hurson as chairman. The decision will be made by House Speaker Michael E. Busch, who said he has not made up his mind.
"John Hurson is an outstanding legislator and will be sorely missed," Busch said. "He leaves a legacy as one of the most outstanding legislators on health care Maryland has ever seen."
The delegate position will be filled by a vote of the Democratic Central Committee in Montgomery County and must be approved by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.
Holding a General Assembly seat is a part-time job in Maryland, with most lawmakers having other employment. Most recently, Hurson has worked for the Washington-based lobbying firm Van Scoyoc Associates, helping develop business relationships with lobbyists in other states. Before that, he worked for Ketchum Public Relations.