July 17, 2019

Senate Decades Series – 1970s Senator Sidney Kramer

A Councilman, a Senator, a County Executive, and the father of two future State Senators, Sidney Kramer is truly a legend in both Montgomery County politics and was a key leader in the Maryland Senate and the Montgomery County Council over the 1970s.

Born in Washington D.C. in 1925, Kramer would graduate from Calvin Coolidge High School in 1944 then enter George Washington University where he’d ultimately graduate with baccalaureate degrees in both physics and chemistry. He’d move to Montgomery County in 1957 launching a business and political career that would span some five decades.

Kramer and his wife Betty Mae would choose to raise their family and build a life in Montgomery County. They’d welcome three children including two daughters Miriam and Rona along with a son Ben (both Rona and Ben have gone on to follow in the footsteps of their father and serve in the Maryland Senate representing Montgomery County).

After launching a successful Automatic Car Wash business, Sidney would choose to enter the political realm seeking and achieving office as a member of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee (1965-1966), the Montgomery County Council (1970-1974), the Maryland State Senate (1978-1986), and as Montgomery County’s 3rd County Executive (1986-1990).

Kramer’s eight-year tenure in the Maryland Senate was known for both his self-effacing style and his capability to lead an ideologically-disparate and bipartisan group as the leader of the Montgomery County Senate Delegation. His leadership would result in numerous legislative victories including legislation to curb smoking in public places, create tax credits for state retirees, and secure state funding for several important projects throughout Montgomery County. In an interview with the Washington Post in 1986 then Senator Jack Cade (R-Anne Arundel) lauded Kramer’s work in the Senate. Cade noted: “I think Sid Kramer was very skillful at what he set out to do, and that was to bring increased aid to Montgomery County.”

Senator Sidney Kramer has clearly left behind a legacy of dedication to service that endures to this day. He proved a capable and effective leader for Montgomery County over the 1970s and the 1980s whose impact is still felt today.