Few in the history of the Maryland Senate better represented the characteristics of the District that they represented better than former Northern Anne Arundel County Senator Phil Jimeno. Hardworking and incredibly capable, Jimeno represented the 31st District in the Maryland Senate from 1985-2007 and in the Maryland House of Delegates from 1979-1985 serving the entirety of the decade of the 1990s and proving himself a true leader.
Born in Fairmont, West Virginia in 1947, Jimeno married his wife Ramona in 1969 and the two moved to Brooklyn Park in 1970. He’d become a Parole and Probation Officer in Baltimore City and quickly caught the political bug after becoming active in his local community organizations including the Greater Brooklyn Park Council and the Roland Terrace Democratic Club.
Jimeno would be elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1979 and that would begin a political career that would span some twenty-eight years and seven electoral victories until his retirement in 2007. Dedicated and committed to a fault, because of a snowstorm Jimeno would miss just one legislative day in those twenty-eight years.
Most known for his tenure in the Maryland Senate, Jimeno championed numerous pieces of legislation but counted Annie’s Law (a bill to strengthen drunken-driving penalties) among his proudest legislative accomplishments. Additionally, Jimeno would be credited with securing countless resources for Northern Anne Arundel County including funding that helped create the Chesapeake Arts Center which serves as a center for community activity and artistic expression to this day.
Honored by multiple organizations for his legislative work, including selection as Legislator of the Year by the Maryland State’s Attorneys’ Association in both 1986 and 1994 and by the Maryland Fraternal Order of Police in 1993, Jimeno truly served with distinction. For the contributions that he made to his community, he would also see a portion of Ritchie Highway in Brooklyn Park dedicated in his honor in 2017.
Just prior to leaving office, Jimeno summed up how he liked to be remembered as a legislator. He stated: “I hope to be remembered for my constituent service and for the fact that I treated everyone fairly.” He followed: “I stayed close to the citizens I represent. I never lost touch with them.” True to his hopes, Jimeno is remembered to this day as a fair leader who tirelessly advocated for Anne Arundel County and as one of Maryland’s most capable and effective public servants for the entirety of the decade of the 1990s and far beyond.