Del., Jim Mathias, the former mayor of Ocean City, filed paperwork this week to run for the state Senate — a Democratic bid for a long-held Republican seat on the Eastern Shore.
Republican Sen. J. Lowell Stoltzfus, who has represented the area for nearly two decades, is retiring. District 38 includes Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties and is represented by Del. Norman H. Conway, a Democrat who leads the House Appropriations Committee, Republican Del. D. Page Elmore and Mathias, who was appointed in 2006 to fill the seat of the late Bennett Bozman.
Mathias is a Democrat who describes himself as "fiscally conservative." He also said his "access to the leadership, from the governor to the speaker of the House to the Senate president" — all Democrats — would benefit his constituents.
Another Democrat, Charles Lehrer of Crisfield, also has filed for the Senate seat. Michael James, though he has not officially filed, is the likely Republican contender. James is the general manager and managing partner of the Carousel Oceanfront Hotel and Condominiums in Ocean City.