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Richard F. Colburn: Wikis


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Richard F. Colburn

Member of the Maryland Senate
from the 37th district
In office
January 11, 1995 – ‘’incumbent’’
Preceded by Frederick C. Malkus Jr.

Member of the Maryland House of Delegates
from the 37th district
In office
1983 – 1991
Succeeded by Kenneth D. Schisler

Born February 9, 1950 (1950-02-09) (age 59)
Easton, Maryland
Political party Republican

Richard F. Colburn (born February 9, 1950), is a Republican State Senator for District 37 in Maryland. He is married to Alma Colburn and has one daughter, Johanna Colburn.



Richard Colburn was first elected to the Maryland State Senate in 1994 to represent District 37, which covers Caroline, Dorchester, Talbot, and Wicomico Counties. In that year he defeated Democratic challenger Samuel Q. Johnson III and won the seat left open by Frederick C. Malkus, Jr., who retired after 47 years in the Maryland General Assembly. [1]

In the 1998 election Colburn defeated his challenger, former Democratic state delegate Robert Alan Thornton, Jr.. He captured 59% of the vote to Thornton’s 41%.[2]

The election in 2002 saw challenger Grason Eckel manage to get 31% of the vote. Colburn received almost 69% of the vote to go on and serve four more years.[3]

In 2006, a year that saw many Republicans lose their seats all across the country, Colburn managed to keep his. That year saw him defeat Democrat Hilary Spence, who received almost 39% of the vote to Colburn’s 56%. Five percent of the vote was split between write-in candidates and Moonyene Jackson-Amis.[4]

Colburn is also a former member of the Maryland House of Delegates. In his last election for the House in 1986, he won along with Democrats William S. Horn and Samuel Q. Johnson, III.[5] When Colburn ran for the State Senate, Republican Ken Schissler won the seat left open.[6]


Colburn graduated from Easton High School in Easton, Maryland in Talbot County. He then received his A.A. degree in 1982 from Chesapeake College, located in Wye Mills, which straddles Talbot and Queen Anne’s Counties.


After college, Colburn served in the U.S. Army Security Agency, achieving the rank of Sergeant. He served from 1969 until 1972. From 1967 to 1992 he was employed with the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company (A&P)/SuperFresh. He has been the Town Manager for Federalsburg, Maryland in Caroline County since 1991. He belonged to the Dorchester County Republican State Central Committee from 1979 until 1982. He was selected to be a delegate to the Republican Party National Convention in 1988.

In 1992, Colburn was selected to serve on the Board of Directors for the Maryland Rural Water Association[1], an organization that “provides free technical services, training, and assistance to small drinking and waste water systems in the rural areas throughout the state of Maryland." He is a past vice-president of that organization.

Colburn, had been active in the People for Better Housing organization and was President of the Board of Directors.

Colburn belongs to several other organizations including the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), the Zion United Methodist Church, and the Elks. He has received numerous awards including the Good Conduct Medal while serving his country in the military, the Social Science Award at Chesapeake College in 1980, and the Social Science Award at Eastern Community College in 1981.

In the Legislature

Prior to being elected to the Maryland State Senate, Colburn was a member of the Maryland House of Delegates. While serving in the House, he was a member of the Constitutional and Administrative Law Committee from 1983-86, the Environmental Matters Committee from 1987-91, and a member of the Governor's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped from 1984 until 1990. In addition, he was also on the Lead Poisoning Prevention Commission.

While in the Maryland Senate, Colburn has served on the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee since 2003, the Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review since 1996, the Joint Committee on the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Critical Area since 2003, and the Executive Nominations Committee since 2008. In addition, he serves on several other subcommittees including Alcoholic Beverages (to which he is Chair) and the Oyster Advisory Committee.

Colburn previously served on the Judicial Proceedings Committee from 1995-2003; the Special Committee on Substance Abuse from 2001 until 2003. In 2004, he served on the Senate Special Commission on Medical Malpractice Liability Insurance and from 2006 until 2006, served on the Agricultural Stewardship Commission.

Colburn is the Senate Chair of the Eastern Shore Delegation, a committee he has served on since 1999. He has been a member of the Maryland Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus since 2001, the Maryland Rural Caucus since 2002, the Taxpayers Protection Caucus since 2003, and finally the Maryland Veterans Caucus since 2004.



Colburn, while pursuing a bachelor's degree at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, has been accused of making an aide complete coursework on his behalf. The aide also alleges that Colburn friend and Denton town councilman Conway Gregory was originally intended to supervise the courses Colburn took through UMES according to an 11-course "plan of action." When that plan did not come to fruition, he alleges that Gregory and Colburn's daughter Johanna corresponded by email so Gregory could review and edit school papers.

The aide, Gregory Dukes, told the Baltimore Sun he felt compelled to complete the coursework to keep his job. Dukes filed an ethics complaint and sworn affidavit, and Colburn was under investigation by the General Assembly's ethics committee in 2005.

Colburn withdrew from UMES amid the controversy. [1]

Legislative notes

  • voted for income tax reduction in 1998 (SB750)[2]

References and notes

External links


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