Mathias Seeking Third State Senate Term

Mathias Seeking Third State Senate Term
mathias refiling

OCEAN CITY — As expected, incumbent State Senator Jim Mathias (D-38) filed for re-election this week, setting the stage for what promises to be a spirited campaign against Republican challenger and current Delegate Mike McDermott for the seat.
Mathias, the popular incumbent state senator, whose District 38 includes Ocean City, Worcester County and much of the Lower Shore, officially filed for re-election on Wednesday. He said shortly thereafter he is ready, willing and able to continue to represent the Lower Shore in Annapolis.
“When I wake up every morning, my number one priority is doing everything I can to help the people I was elected to serve,” he said. “By working together, we have been able to make sure that the voices and the needs of the citizens of the Lower Shore have been heard in Annapolis.”
After serving as mayor of Ocean City for 10 years from 1996 to 2006, Mathias entered state politics when he was chosen to serve out the term of the late Delegate Bennett Bozman. Mathias was re-elected to the House 38B seat in 2006, narrowly beating Republican challenger and Ocean City hotelier Michael James. It was a situation that repeated itself in 2010 when Mathias edged James for the District 38 Senate seat. Now four years later, Mathias is seeking a new term as the Lower Shore’s senator in Annapolis and will be challenged by McDermott, who filed for the District 38 Senate seat in September, and possibly other candidates.
With his announcement on Wednesday, Mathias pointed to some of his proudest accomplishments over the last four years in the Senate. Among the accomplishments he listed is being a strong advocate for veteran issues on the Eastern Shore and across the state. For example, he co-sponsored legislation to make it easier for small businesses to hire veterans and was the lead sponsor on legislation making it easier for veterans to get the benefits they deserve by adding their veteran status to their driver’s licenses.
“A few weeks ago, I was asked by some fellow veterans ‘are we going to send Mathias back to Annapolis?’ and without hesitation, I replied you betcha,” said Sarge Garlitz of American Legion Post 166 in Ocean City. “I worked with Jim to expand slot machines into veterans clubs in Worcester County. Since that bill passed, over three quarters of a million dollars have been given to local charities. Senator Mathias worked tirelessly to allow veterans to display their military status on their driver’s licenses, making it easier for them to get the benefits they have earned. Our military men and women serve this country faithfully and admirably and it’s comforting to know that we have someone like Jim Mathias fighting for us.”
Mathias has also been a strong advocate for agriculture and the poultry industry on the Eastern Shore and in his largely rural district, an effort not lost on his colleagues in county government.
“In the last six months, the poultry and farming industry on the Eastern Shore has been under attack with proposed regulations that, if implemented, would be devastating to our industry,” said Worcester County Commissioner Virgil Shockley. “Jim has been at the forefront of fighting alongside the farming community against these regulations. He truly understands that agriculture is the economic engine of the Eastern Shore.”
While agriculture is certainly a driving force for the Lower Shore economy, tourism is another major piston in that economic engine and Mathias has been an advocate for tourism in and around the resort area. For example, he took the lead on the current effort to move the start of the school year back after Labor Day and has worked to secure state funding for the expansion and renovation of the Ocean City Convention Center. He also spearheaded the effort to expedite the process of allowing county business owners to purchase alcoholic beverages on the free market. His work on behalf of the county business community has not gone unrecognized.
“I’ve watched Jim Mathias effectively work for his constituents with his whole heart and soul,” said Seacrets owner Leighton Moore this week. “As a business owner, I tremendously appreciate Jim’s eagerness to work with everybody, regardless of their party affiliation, in his work to get things done for us here on the Lower Shore.”
A Democrat, Mathias has shown a willingness to break ranks on several key issues deemed important to his Lower Shore constituents. For example, he voted against the state’s gas tax hike and increases in the sales tax, income tax, alcohol tax and other taxes. He also voted against the gun bill and the repeal of the death penalty and voted for harsher penalties for sexual predators.
“We were able to accomplish these goals through team-building to make sure that my colleagues and state leadership in Annapolis understood our needs and were willing to work with us,” he said. “While we weren’t able to win every fight, I made sure that all members of the Maryland General Assembly knew what was important to the citizens of the Lower Shore.”
With much work yet to be done, Mathias said this week he is eager serve another term as the District 38 Senator.
“Working together, we have made great strides for the families of the Lower Shore, but there is still more to do and I look forward to continuing to work for you for the next four years,” he said.