A native of West Virginia, Senator John Astle would come to Maryland as a result of a long an illustrious career in the United States Marine Corps. He’d serve in the military from 1961 until 1991 ultimately retiring as a Colonel in the Marine Corps Reserves. He’d primarily serve as an aviator over his military career and see combat in Vietnam where he’d earn 34 Air Medals and 2 Purple Hearts. Interestingly, he’d also serve as a pilot in the Presidential detail for 3 ½ years over the course of the Nixon Administration.
Senator Astle would come to elected office following the 1982 elections after winning a seat in the House of Delegates representing Annapolis and Maryland’s 30th legislative district. Astle would serve in the House from 1983-1995 until he was elected to serve District 30 in the State Senate in 1994. He’d serve in the Senate for some 24 years until his retirement in 2019.
Over his time in the General Assembly, Astle would be entrusted with numerous and varied leadership positions. He’d serve as Vice Chair of the Senate Finance Committee (2003-2019), Chair of the Anne Arundel County Senate Delegation (1998-2001, 2010-2019), Vice Chair of the Maryland Senate Veterans Caucus (2015), President of the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses, and Senate Chair of the Maryland Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus.
His time in Annapolis would also be known for his tireless advocacy for his community in Annapolis and especially for the many military veterans that he would represent as the Senator from the district housing the United States Naval Academy. Cordial and collegial, Astle uniquely represented his district with a set of qualifications previously unseen and definitely unparalleled.
He would leave Annapolis upon his retirement in 2019, having served his community with great distinction and having proved himself a true leader for the Maryland Senate and for the Anne Arundel County Senate Delegation.