Sen. Jim Mathias honored with Sarbanes Public Service Award

Kathleen Matthews, chair of the Maryland Democratic Party, and Dr. Mark Bowen, chair of the Wicomico County Democratic Central Committee, present state Sen. Jim Mathias with the WCDCC’s Paul S. Sarbanes Distinguished Public Service Award.

Maryland State Sen. James Mathias Jr. is the recipient of the second Paul S. Sarbanes Distinguished Public Service Award presented annually by the Wicomico County Democratic Central Committee.

“Sen. Mathias is the personification of a people’s politician,” said Dr. Mark L. Bowen, chair of the WCDCC.  “He cares deeply about how he can improve the lives of those living in his Eastern Shore district as well as all Marylanders.

“His heroic efforts to secure federal funding on behalf of the residents of Somerset County and the city of Crisfield in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy — when other government agencies and officials initially balked–is legendary,” said Bowen.  “But that’s the measure of the man and is emblematic of Sen. Mathias’ sincere commitment to the well being of his constituents.”

Mathias is a Democrat who represents District 38 — Somerset, Worcester and the eastern half of Wicomico counties. With more than 30 years of public service, Mathias began his political career on the Ocean City zoning board in 1987 and 10 years later he was mayor, spending a decade as the face of one of America’s most famous and popular resort towns.

He moved onto the House of Delegates for four years and has served in the Maryland Senate since 2011.  Among his myriad accomplishments while serving in the General Assembly:

  • Successfully working with Maryland’s Congressional delegation to reverse FEMA’s denial of individual assistance for victims of Sandy in Somerset County and the city of Crisfield.
  • Successfully procuring millions of dollars of capital appropriation for the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (Aviation Engineering Building, planning for Pharmacy building), Salisbury University (Library/Commons area), Wor-Wic Community College (allied health building and others), as well as legislating increased operating funds for Wor-Wic and Somerset County scholarship programs.
  • Successfully procuring appropriations for several district capital projects, including: Shorebirds Stadium, Wicomico County YMCA, Pocomoke City Discovery Center, Coastal Hospice, Berlin Library, Crisfield Library, expansion of Ocean City’s Roland E. Powell Convention Center and construction of its new Performing Arts Center.
  • Successfully passing public safety legislation requiring carbon monoxide detectors in rental units and electric service disconnect notification procedures.

The criteria established for the Sarbanes Award reflects its namesake and his 36 years of service to the nation in the U.S. Congress.  The recipient should exemplify the integrity and dignity manifested by Sen. Sarbanes; effectively represent the best interests of the citizens of Wicomico County and the Eastern Shore of  Maryland; demonstrate tangible accomplishments that serve the common good; actively champion and personally exhibit civility; and serve at least four years as an elected official, winning at least one general election.

The winner of last year’s inaugural award was Norman H. Conway, whose public service career on behalf of the citizens of Wicomico County and the state of Maryland spanned over 40 years.

For more information about the Wicomico County Democratic Central Committee go to


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