By James Wright, Special to the AFRO, [email protected]

Nick Charles is one of Prince George’s County’s newest elected officials. He cannot wait to go to Annapolis as a delegate in January.

Charles got 8,330 votes, enough to have him win one of the three seats for the 25th Legislative District, located in central Prince George’s County.

Nick Charles is an U.S. Air Force veteran and community association president.  (Courtesy Photo)

“I grew up in District 25,” Charles told the AFRO. “I am a graduate of Largo High School and I have served as president of the Forest Spring Community Association. I know what my community needs and I am excited about doing things for the community.”

Charles won the Democratic Party primary on June 26, along with slate mates former Delegate Melony Griffith, who is set to be the next senator for District 25 and incumbents Dereck Davis and Darryl Barnes. Even though Charles will be a freshman, he will be in good company because Barnes is the chairman of the Maryland Legislative Black Caucus, Davis is the chairman of the powerful Economic Matters Committee, and Griffith has served as the chairman of the Prince George’s County House Delegation and knows her way around the capitol.

Charles is a graduate of the University of the District of Columbia and has extensive military experience in the U.S. Air Force. He works as a consultant providing acquisition and program management oversight for U.S. Navy projects. Charles also owns a business, Charles Management Consulting Group.

During his first legislative session, Charles wants to sponsor a bill to make it easier for small businesses, many of them minority owned, to get access to state government contracts. “I want to change the procurement process,” he said.

Charles noted that in Maryland, there are processes and procedures to get contracts at the state, county, and municipality levels and they all have different requirements. “It takes too much time for a small business owner to focus on meeting the requirements for all of those levels and agencies,” he said. He wants to set up a clearinghouse where small businesses can apply for contracts on those levels of government at one time and make it easier to win a contract that way.

Charles wants to sponsor legislation changing the way real property is valued in District 25 and those other jurisdictions that have similar demographic issues. “Inner-Beltway communities have the lowest valuation of property in the county and that needs to change,” he said. “Decisions on where to build shopping centers and restaurants and where to locate businesses and government agencies are made largely on property valuation. I want to make it fair for Prince Georgians so we won’t be constantly undervalued.”

Charles understands he has an experienced legislative team by his side in Annapolis. Still, he knows a good reputation is the key to effectiveness. “If you have a bad reputation among your colleagues in the House, it will be hard for you to get things done,” he said. “You will be known as a stale legislator even if you are popular back in the district and that’s not good.”