Former state Sen. Jim Mathias named UMES’ government relations director

  • Friday, March 22, 2019
    Jim Mathias

    The University of Maryland Eastern Shore has named former state lawmaker Jim Mathias its government relations director. 

    Mathias served 4½ years in Maryland's House of Delegates - from June 2006 until January 2011 - and the following eight years in the state Senate representing Worcester and Somerset counties and eastern Wicomico County. 

    He lost a re-election bid in November 2018 to Republican Mary Beth Carozza, who had been representing Worcester County in the state House of Delegates. 

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

    It was that 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, 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.