Few members ever elected to the Maryland Senate came to their positions with as impressive of a political resume as did former St. Mary’s County Senator Roy Dyson. His impressive electoral career would see him represent Southern Maryland in the Maryland House of Delegates, the Maryland Senate, and the United States Congress.
Born in Great Mills in 1948, Dyson first pursued a political career on Capitol Hill in 1973 serving as a Legislative Assistant to Representative William D. Ford of Michigan and then as a Special Assistant to the House Subcommittee on Agricultural Labor.
Just a couple short years later, he’d leave D.C. to return home answering a call to run for the Maryland House of Delegates in 1974. He’d be elected in 1974 and then again in 1978 serving for some six years before returning to D.C., not as a staffer but as the Congressman representing Maryland’s 1st Congressional District.
Elected to the United States Congress in November 1980, Dyson would take office on January 3, 1981 and serve exactly ten years (five, two-year terms) until January 3, 1991. His time in Congress would see him become a leader on international issues and serve as a member of the powerful Armed Services Committee. During that time he’d also serve as a member of the Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee where he rose to the chairmanship of the Subcommittee on the Panama Canal/Outer Continental Shelf from 1989-1990.
After leaving Congress in 1991, Dyson would return home to private life in St. Mary’s County. That return to private life wouldn’t last as Dyson would again pursue elected office running to represent Maryland’s 29th legislative district in the Maryland Senate. His attempt would prove successful and he would be elected to the Maryland Senate in 1994 taking office in 1995 and serving twenty years (five, four-year terms) until 2015.
The return of Dyson to the General Assembly proved extremely productive as he would serve the needs of St. Mary’s County and Southern Maryland in numerous important capacities including service as Vice Chairman of the Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee from 2007-2015 and as the Senate Chairman of the Joint Committee on Chesapeake Bay Critical Areas from 1995-2003. This service was undoubtedly made only more effective and efficient because of his time in Congress and the countless other experiences that shaped his career in public service.
The career of Senator Dyson is definitively the personification of public service and the personification of the commonsense values of the community that he still calls home. From the halls of Annapolis to the halls of Congress, Dyson represented his native Southern Maryland both proudly and capably.