R. Hardy Rudasill selected to fill Salisbury’s District 5 seat

The Salisbury City Council on Monday formally selected a high-ranking University of Maryland Eastern Shore official to fill the District 5 seat left open with the departure of Council Vice President Laura Mitchell.

R. Hardy Rudasill, 38, was chosen after a closed-session interview process that included two other contenders, Ray Sander and Hsin Cheu. After the interviews, council members ranked the candidates and made their final selection in a unanimous public vote Monday.

Rudasill was immediately sworn in by Wicomico Clerk of the Circuit Court Mark Bowen. He took a seat at the council dais previously occupied by Councilman Muir Boda, who was elected vice president by his colleagues and moved to Mitchell’s old seat.

Rudasill is an equity and compliance lawyer for UMES and serves as the Title IX Program coordinator. Citing his legal training and background, two years ago then-Mayor Jim Ireton and the City Council named Rudasill to the city’s Board of Adjustments and Appeals.

Rudasill’s law degree is from Illinois College of Law. His experience includes service under U.S. Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes, the Upward Bound Program at the University of Maryland, the University of Illinois Law Library, Wor-Wic Community College, University of Maryland Eastern Shore and the Office of the Public Defender, to name just a few.

A 2006 UMES graduate and Prince George’s County native, Rudasill has been employed at UMES since 2014. He said friends and colleagues encouraged him to apply to finish the final three years of Mitchell’’s term.

Rudasill’s appointment is somewhat historic, as he joins Councilwoman April Jackson as the second African-American currently serving on the council. Only once before in the city’s history did two African-Americans serve simultaneously on the City Council: That was when Rachel Polk and Lavonzella Siggers served in the early part of the last decade. About 35 percent of the city’s population is African-American.

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