James N. Robey

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James Robey
James Robey headshot
Member of the Maryland Senate
from the 13th district
In office
January 10, 2007 – January 14, 2015
Preceded bySandra Schrader
Majority Leader of the Maryland Senate
In office
September 1, 2013 – January 14, 2015
Preceded byRobert Garagiola
Succeeded byCatherine Pugh
7th County Executive of
Howard County, Maryland
In office
Preceded byCharles Ecker
Succeeded byKen Ulman
Personal details
BornBaltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
ResidenceElkridge, Maryland[1]
Alma materUMUC, Hood College

James N. Robey, Jr. (born January 18, 1941), an American Democratic politician, was a Maryland State Senator from January 10, 2007 to January 14, 2015. He was the Senate Majority Leader from 2013 until he retired in January 2015.[2]


Born January 18, 1941 in Baltimore, Maryland, Robey was raised in Daniels, Maryland,[2] a small mill town in Howard County that was once located on the banks of the Patapsco River.[3][4]

Robey graduated from Howard High School in Ellicott City, Maryland in 1959, his high school principal, Omar J. Jones, was Howard County's first county executive.[2] Robey earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) in 1979, he also has master's degree in administrative management from Hood College in Frederick, Maryland, and has completed several training programs at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.[2][5]

His son, Wayne Robey, became the clerk of the Howard County Circuit Court when Margaret Rappaport retired in 2012.[6][7]


Robey joined the Howard County Police Department in 1966 and was promoted to major by 1981,[5] he was appointed by Charles I. Ecker to Chief of Police in 1991, replacing Frederick Chaney.[5] He retired from the police force in 1998 to run for office[8] and was elected as Howard County Executive in 1998 and 2002.[2]

In 2006, Robey campaigned as a Democrat to represent the 13th district in the Maryland State Senate and won with 56% of the vote against Republican incumbent Sandra Schrader. In September 2013, he was chosen to replace State Senator Robert Garagiola as Senate Majority Leader. Robey retired from the Maryland State Senate on January 14, 2015.


Robey was recognized by his alma mater, University of Maryland University College (UMUC), as the 2002 "Distinguished Alumnus". In 2007, the James N. Robey Public Safety Training Facility, a training facility used by the Howard County police and fire departments, was dedicated in his honor.[2]

Robey has been labeled one of the most liberal State Senators in the Maryland Assembly.[citation needed] According to Vote Smart, an independent, nonprofit research organization, in 2011, Robey received a performance evaluation rating of 92% from Progressive Maryland, a nonprofit, liberal advocacy group that rates legislators based on their positions on social, liberal, and family-related issues.[9] In 2008, he received a score of 97%.[10]

Election History[edit]

Year Office Election Subject Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes %
1998 Howard County Executive General James N. Robey Democratic 43,322 55% Dennis Schrader Republican 35,081 44%  
2006 Maryland Senate District 13 General James N. Robey Democratic 24,354 56.1% Sandra Schrader Republican 19,021 43.8%  


  1. ^ "Howard County General Assembly Members". The Washington Post. November 2006. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "James N. Robey, Maryland State Senator". Maryland Manual On-Line. Maryland State Archives. November 10, 2015. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  3. ^ Pickard, Nancy Quinn (May 2012). Mending a Fractured Landscape: Balancing Culture and Nature in the Vanishing Mill Town of Daniels, Maryland (Thesis for Master of Historic Preservation). University of Maryland Libraries. Retrieved March 17, 2017 – via Digital Repository at the University of Maryland (DRUM).
  4. ^ The Howard County Historical Society. Howard County. p. 6.[full citation needed]
  5. ^ a b c West, Norris P. (February 26, 1991). "Ecker Appoints Howard County Police Chief: Robey Moves Up to Head Police Force". The Evening Sun. Baltimore, MD: Tribune Digital. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  6. ^ Lazarick, Len (June 3, 2014). "Competitive Primary Races for Some Offices: But Low Turnout Expected". The Business Monthly. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  7. ^ Lavoie, Luke (November 8, 2002). "Howard County Circuit Court Clerk Retires for Health Reasons". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  8. ^ Carson, Larry (May 20, 2006). "Howard Co. Chief of Police to Retire: Livesay is Running for County Council". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  9. ^ "Rating Group: Progressive Maryland − 2011 Positions on Progressive Policy". Vote Smart. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  10. ^ "Rating Group: Progressive Maryland − 2008 Positions on Progressive Policy". Vote Smart. Retrieved March 17, 2017.