- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 6, 2002

The Maryland General Assembly yesterday overwhelmingly chose Delegate Nancy K. Kopp, Montgomery County Democrat, as state treasurer.
Speaking from the House floor after her election, Mrs. Kopp told her colleagues it was not an easy choice to leave the legislature, where she had served 27 years, but that it would be an honor to serve them as treasurer.
"I'm very excited," said Mrs. Kopp, 58. "It's daunting."
She likely will be sworn into the $100,000-a-year job next week.
The election resulted when Treasurer Richard N. Dixon, 63, announced last month he was resigning because of bad health. Diabetes caused loss of sight in one eye and amputation of a toe, he said.
Of the General Assembly's 188 delegates and senators, 133 voted for Mrs. Kopp and 33 for Delegate Pauline Menes, Prince George's County Democrat. The remaining votes went to eight other members without organized support.
As treasurer, Mrs. Kopp will oversee the state's $28 billion pension system, control Maryland's investments and bank accounts, and recommend state debt limits.
She also becomes the third member of the Board of Public Works, which controls all major state contracts and helps set state policies in areas such as school construction, transportation and land preservation. The board's other members are Gov. Parris N. Glendening and Comptroller William Donald Schaefer, who have frequently and bitterly opposed each other on various board issues.
The treasurer is the legislature's representative on the board, and Mrs. Kopp acknowledged that in her remarks yesterday.
"My total loyalty is to the legislature, to its members and all of the regions of the state. I will be working with and for you," she said, adding that she expects no problems on the Board of Public Works. "I have worked in the past with Mr. Schaefer when he was governor and with Mr. Glendening."
Mrs. Kopp, who lives in Bethesda, is the second woman to assume the treasurer's post. The first was Lucille Maurer, also of Montgomery County, who served from 1987 until 1996, when Mr. Dixon took the reins. He was the first black treasurer.
Delegate Marilyn Goldwater, Montgomery County Democrat, said Mrs. Maurer "would be beaming broadly now." Mrs. Maurer died in 1996.
Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan was delighted at Mrs. Kopp's election. "I think it's great," he said. "I urged her to apply. She's going to do a great job."
"I supported her. She is honest. She has integrity," said Delegate Robert Flanagan, Howard County Republican. "Nancy Kopp and I do not agree on a lot of things [but] every once in a while around here, people make a good choice."
As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, Mrs. Kopp has helped shape the state budget for nearly three decades and has extensive knowledge of where state funds come from and how they are spent.
Mrs. Kopp, born in Coral Gables, Fla., on Dec. 7, 1943, is a former student of political philosophy with degrees from Wellesley College and the University of Chicago. She said being treasurer may allow her to drive home every night.
"For 30 years, my life has revolved around this General Assembly. For 30 years, I haven't been home in February or March," she said.
This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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