Mathias to join UMES as a legislative lobbyist

Former state Sen. Jim Mathias, who was defeated for re-election in November, has landed a new job — Government Relations Director for the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

Maryland state Sen. Jim Mathias during a sport alliance meeting in 2014. (SI Photo.)

Mathias has strong ties to the State House, having served four years in Maryland’s House of Delegates and then eight years in the state Senate, where he represented Worcester and Somerset counties and eastern Wicomico County.

The Baltimore native also was mayor of Ocean City from 1996 until 2006.

It was his combination of local- and state-level government experience that made Mathias UMES’ top choice when President Heidi M. Anderson decided the university needed a stronger presence in the state capital.

“Clearly, his deep roots in Eastern Shore political circles, particularly in the state legislature as well as Ocean City, made him an ideal candidate,” said David Balcom, UMES’ chief fund-raiser and Vice President for Institutional Advancement. “He’s well-connected in state government.”

Mathias, 67, will report to Balcom, who is responsible for external relations.

While April 8 is the 2019 Maryland General Assembly’s final day for this session, Mathias already has been reconnecting with lawmakers and state agency heads, getting out the word that moving forward he is UMES’ point person on public policy issues.

Balcom said Mathias has a deep understanding of UMES’ role as a public, historically black university and its unique role as a land-grant institution in the heart of a region heavily reliant on agriculture.

Both of Mathias’ adult children, Balcom noted, are graduates of institutions in the University System of Maryland, of which UMES is a member.

“He is a good fit for this campus,” Balcom said. “Mathias is knowledgeable about the key players in state government and the process of lawmaking.”

UMES has had a state-level government liaison since 2007, according to Andy Clark, USM’s Assistant Vice Chancellor for Government Relations.

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