James P. Gleason
|James P. Gleason|
|1st Montgomery County Executive|
|Preceded by||Office established|
|Succeeded by||Charles W. Gilchrist|
|Member of the Montgomery County Council|
|Maryland Constitutional Convention Delegate|
|Occupation||Attorney and Local Politician|
James P. Gleason was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1921 and received an undergraduate degree and law degree from Georgetown University through an accelerated program in 1950. He served as a legislative assistant to Senator Richard Nixon, administrative assistant to Senator Knowland, consultant to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the U.S. Department of Transportation, Assistant Administrator of NASA, and as a member of many other task forces and committees. He was also chairman of both the Washington Suburban Transit Commission and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. In 1968, he was appointed to the Montgomery County Council, and in 1970, Gleason, a Republican, was elected as the first Montgomery County Executive in an overwhelmingly Democratic district.
Gleason's tenure was marked by an extensive reorganization of County government in 1972 and by conflicts with the County Council and County citizens. Loath to compromise, he threatened to withhold Montgomery County funds from Washington Metro, which he had helped plan and which he avidly supported, unless it promised to build two lines into the County. He refused to play party politics, and instead appointed department heads and staff with an even-handedness based on merit. In 1978, despite assured reelection, he announced his retirement from politics to pursue a writing career.
- "James P. Gleason, County Executive". Maryland State Archives. June 17, 2004.
- Sullivan, Patricia. "James P. Gleason, 86; Force for Change in Montgomery County". The Washington Post. September 16, 2008. Page B06.
|Montgomery County, Maryland Executive
Charles W. Gilchrist
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