Alum Ariana Kelly appointed to State Senate


Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

Ariana Kelly served as a State Delegate before becoming a state senator. In that role, she rose to the rank of deputy majority whip.

Ariana Kelly (WJ class of ‘94) was sworn into the Maryland state senate representing the 16th district, which includes North Bethesda, Potomac, and Bethesda. She is known in Maryland politics for being a strong advocate for reproductive rights and was chosen to fill the seat by the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee (MCDCC).

Governor Wes Moore had appointed Kelly’s predecessor, Susan Lee, to be Maryland’s Secretary of State. This left her senate seat open for the MCDCC to fill who ultimately chose Kelly for the job.

Prior to her appointment to the State Senate, Kelly served as a State Delegate and held the positions of Deputy Majority Whip and Vice Chair of the Health and Government Operations Committee.

Kelly finds that her ability to help her community to be one of her favorite parts of being in the Maryland General Assembly.

“I love the opportunity I have to represent our community and to improve the lives of families. I
came here to help make life easier for families and I’m so proud of every step forward we take
even though there’s more to do,” Kelly said.

Kelly’s daughter Maeve Sanford-Kelly, who is also a WJ alum, finds the senator to be a strong leader.

“She is very determined but also good at understanding how to build coalitions in order to move something forward,” Sanford-Kelly said.

In the state house, Kelly called for legislation to strengthen reproductive rights, especially after the fall of Roe vs Wade, and sponsored legislation like the Abortion Care Access Act. With the Maryland General Assembly currently in session, she hopes to address that issue along with others facing the state.

“This session, my main priorities are the repeal of the spousal defense for sexual offenses, our
package of reproductive healthcare access bills including my bill to require public universities in
Maryland create a plan for how students can get access to reproductive health services, and a
bill to help solve logistical challenges with the board of nursing,” Kelly said.

More broadly, Kelly hopes to continue addressing issues she finds important to the state in the state senate.

“Being in the Senate puts me in a different position but I’m still working to advance the same causes. I’m excited to do even more work on family economic security, healthcare access including reproductive healthcare, and even more,” Kelly said.