- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 21, 2002

Terry Gilleland Jr. first campaigned when he was 11 years old. He stood on the side of the highway waving signs for Bush-Quayle in 1988.
Now only slightly older but much more experienced, Mr. Gilleland is running for the Maryland state Senate in District 23 in Northern Anne Arundel County. At 25, he is the youngest candidate in more than 50 years to make such a race.
"Even though I was 11, I was able to relate to a lot of people who were a lot older than I was," he said. "Now we're waving our own signs, and that's really what started all of it."
The young candidate, who still orders cheeseburgers for lunch, doesn't seem to think his age will be a factor against him and hopes to bring leadership to a state government he says has been without it for a long time.
"I looked at where I can be the most effective and really represent my constituents and give them the accountability that I think so many in the state have been without for so long," he said.
Mr. Gilleland said this is a critical time for Republicans in Maryland and decided to run for a seat against a vulnerable incumbent Democrat in a relatively Republican-friendly district. Currently chairman of the Republican Party in Anne Arundel County, Mr. Gilleland decided to seize the opportunity and start his political career now.
"I've accomplished so much and have so much leadership experience in my background. The fact that I have been able to do so much in a little bit of time, I know, is going to prove that I will be effective," he said.
He has had plenty of campaign experience, working on the Bush-Quayle presidential campaign and Ellen Sauerbrey's 1994 and '98 gubernatorial campaigns. In 1998, he made an unsuccessful bid for the state Republican Central Committee. He said he learned a lot from that experience, which didn't turn him away from politics, but drew him to it.
"People will make age an issue, but I welcome it," said Mr. Gilleland.
In high school, he was the student representative to the Anne Arundel County school board. From that experience he worked behind the scenes with the Republican Party and worked his way up in leadership within the county party organization.
Observing firsthand for so many years has given him time to develop his political views. He said he would like to see Maryland make more fiscally responsible decisions.
"They key is prioritizing. That's just one thing we don't do," he said in reference to spending. "I would like to help carry the state in a forward direction." Mr. Gilleland is also opposed to the high-speed Maglev train track being built near his house in Linthicum.
Mr. Gilleland is an account manager with Thomson and Prometric, an education testing company, in Baltimore. He went to Loyola College in Baltimore.
Regardless of the outcome of this election, Mr. Gilleland said he is looking forward to serving the public in whatever way he can in the future.
"I just want to be where I can make the biggest impact."

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide