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Maryland GOP Mourns Loss Of Former Chair

July 27th, 2018 by WCBC Radio

The Maryland Republican Party mourns the passing of Joyce Lyons Terhes, who made a significant mark in the local and state political arena.

Having served multiple terms as County Commissioner in Calvert County, where her family was long-established, Ms. Terhes served as the Chairman of her County Party before ultimately becoming the Chair of the Maryland Republican Party (1991-1998).

Joyce worked closely with Helen Bentley, Ellen Sauerbrey, Bob Kittleman, Jack Cade, and Richard Taylor (National Committeeman) at that time to reinvigorate the Republican Party. During her tenure, Republicans held half of the House of Representatives seats in Maryland, including two women (Connie Morella and Helen Bentley; Bentley worked closely with Joyce Terhes to bring the National Federation of Republican Women’s convention to Baltimore). Under Joyce’s leadership, Ellen Sauerbrey was nearly elected as Governor in 1994, helped greatly by the robust and inclusive grassroots effort speared by Terhes, including Teenage Republicans, College Republicans (under the leadership of now-Baltimore County Councilman David Marks), Young Republicans, Asian Republicans, Jewish Republicans, and Black Republicans.

She also served as a member of the Platform Committee as well as National Committeewoman for the Republican National Committee. After the election of Governor Bob Ehrlich, she worked on his staff in intergovernmental relations. But more than just recruit candidates and elect Republicans, Joyce displayed leadership by mentoring many young people who went on to become Party leaders.

“She drove the Party with a strong vision, political shrewdness, and uncompromising determination,” said Jim Burton, who served as Executive Director under Chairwoman Joyce Terhes. “I started as an intern at the Party, and she taught me so much, helped me acquire skills and knowledge, and guided me up the leadership ladder until I became Executive Director at the Party. I owe much of my political success to her.”

“Joyce was one of the first Maryland Republicans I met when I moved to the state in 1996. I can confidently say that she was the architect of the strong and growing Republican Party that we see today. Not only was she a great Republican leader, but she cared about each and every Republican as a person. Without fail, every time I would see Joyce, she would ask about my family and how my young kids were doing, which was a personal touch not often seen in today's leaders,” said Dirk Haire, Chairman of the Maryland Republican Party. “She will be dearly missed, and we extend our condolences to her family at this difficult time."

There will be a service held on Monday, July 30th at The Oakdale Church in Olney at 1 PM.

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