Four of the St. Mary’s County commissioners said Tuesday they will likely seek another term as commissioner. The fifth commissioner, Larry Jarboe (R), said he will make a run for state senate in 2014, aiming at the seat held by Sen. Roy Dyson (D-St. Mary’s, Calvert, Charles).
Jarboe cannot seek re-election as county commissioner because of term limits.
The commissioners talked about their political aspirations for 2014 during a state of the county luncheon on Tuesday.
Commission President Jack Russell (D), now in his second term, said he will likely try for a third. “If I feel well in 2014, most probably I will run again,” he said. However, if that doesn’t work out, he told the audience he would “drink better whiskey and eat more hard crabs” with the time he has left.
Russell, 69, lives on St. George Island and has worked as a waterman and educator.
Commissioner Todd Morgan (R) is two years into his first term and said he is “very happy and content in the 4th [commissioner] District,” which includes the Lexington Park area. He said he had no aspiration for higher office. Morgan, 56, is a program manager for the defense contractor SAIC.
Jarboe, 59, is serving his fourth term as county commissioner representing northern St. Mary’s. He was first elected in 1994, but lost the 1998 election. He then came back to win in 2002 and is on his third straight term, the most allowed for a St. Mary’s County commissioner under state law.
With four terms, Jarboe is the longest-serving commissioner since 1885. J. Hillery Parsons, a former Confederate, won six straight elections as county commissioner, serving 21 years in office.
“It’s been the greatest honor in my lifetime to serve four terms as your county commissioner,” Jarboe said. “It’s absolutely a gift you’ve given me.”
He said he supports term limits and said they should be apply to state and federal lawmakers. However, “I’m looking forward to doing a run for state senate” in 2014. He said he’s looking for a good campaign treasurer.
Dyson has held the Senate job since Jan. 11, 1995, according to the Maryland Manual. He was first elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1974 and was a U.S. congressman during the 1980s. Dyson was out of town this week and could not be reached for comment.
Cindy Jones (R) is serving her first term as county commissioner. She said, “I would seek re-election as county commissioner ... as an elected public servant, not a typical run-of-the-mill politician.” Jones, 47, represents southern St. Mary’s and the Valley Lee area. There were rumors that she was going to seek Democrat Del. John Bohanan’s seat in 2014.
Commissioner Dan Morris (R) is also in his first term representing the Leonardtown and Hollywood areas. He said, “I know I’m not going to run for higher office. I’ll be lucky to get re-elected.
“This was an adventure for me. I’ve enjoyed it,” he said of his time as commissioner. “Ask me next year, I’ll have a better feel for it.”
Morris, 62, ran for unsuccessfully sheriff in 2002.