Kathy Szeliga

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Kathy Szeliga
Kathy Szeliga Press Conference (28133161470) (cropped).jpg
Member of the Maryland House of Delegates
from the 7th district
Assumed office
January 12, 2011
Preceded by J. B. Jennings
Personal details
Born (1961-10-10) October 10, 1961 (age 56)
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Mark (1980–present)
Education Towson University (BA)

Kathy Szeliga (born October 10, 1961) is an American politician who has served as a Republican member of the Maryland House of Delegates since January 12, 2011 and as Minority Whip since 2013. Szeliga was the Republican nominee for the United States Senate in 2016 to replace Barbara Mikulski, who retired.[1]


Szeliga was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in October 1961. She is of Polish descent.[2] She was raised in a military family, her father being a lieutenant colonel in the US Army. Szeliga married her husband in 1980, and the couple struggled financially at first. Szeliga worked as a dishwasher, a maid, and a housekeeper. She entered college in her 30s, enrolling at Towson State University and graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education. She began working as a teacher in Baltimore City Public Schools and started a construction business with her husband. She began her political career after a family friend, James M. Kelly, was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates. She worked as a legislative aide to Del. James M. Kelly, then for Del. John G. Trueschler, and eventually became chief of staff for then-State Senator Andy Harris. Szeliga decided to run for Delegate after Del. J. B. Jennings decided to run for State Senate. She was elected and immediately placed on the Appropriations Committee.[3][4][5][6][7]

In the legislature[edit]

Szeliga serves on the Environment and Transportation Committee (since 2015), Rules and Executive Nominations Committee (since 2014), and Legislative Policy Committee (since 2015). She was previously a member of the Appropriations Committee (2011–15), House Emergency Medical Services System Work Group (2012), and Joint Committee on the Selection of the State Treasurer (2015). She is a member of the Women Legislators of Maryland Caucus (since 2011), Maryland Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus (since 2012), and Maryland Veterans Caucus (since 2012).[3]

In April 2013, Delegate Szeliga was elected into leadership by her peers and serves as the Whip in the House Republican Caucus. She serves with Leader Nic Kipke of Anne Arundel County. Szeliga is the highest-ranking Republican woman in Maryland's state legislature and has been described as one of the most powerful female politicians in the state.[8][9]

US Senate campaign[edit]

Szeliga announced in November 2015 that she would be running for the Republican nomination to replace Senator Barbara Mikulski in the 2016 US Senate election in Maryland.[10] She was the first Republican in the 2016 Senate primary to release ads on television.[11] On April 15, Citizens United announced they had bought $25,000 worth of radio airtime to promote Del. Szeliga ahead of the April 26 primary.[12] Szeliga won the primary on April 26, 2016, and faced Representative Chris Van Hollen in the general election on November 8, 2016,[13] in which she was defeated.[14]

Election results[edit]

  • 2016 election for U.S. Senator from Maryland[15]
Voters to choose one:
Name Votes Percent Outcome
Kathy Szeliga 972,557   35.7%    Lost
Chris Van Hollen 1,659,907   60.9%    Won
Margaret Flowers 89,970   3.3%    Lost
Write-Ins 3,736   0.1%    Lost
  • 2014 election for Maryland House of Delegates – District 7[16]
Voters to choose three:
Name Votes Percent Outcome
Pat McDonough, Rep. 35,627   26.9%    Won
Kathy Szeliga, Rep. 33,197   25.0%    Won
Richard Impallaria, Rep. 32,560   24.6%    Won
Bob Bowle, Jr., Dem. 11,154   8.4%    Lost
Norman Gifford, Jr., Dem. 10,192   7.7%    Lost
Pete Definbaugh, Dem. 9,707   7.3%    Lost
Other Write-Ins 145   0.1%    Lost
  • 2010 election for Maryland House of Delegates – District 7[17]
Voters to choose three:
Name Votes Percent Outcome
Richard Impallaria, Rep. 27,217   23.1%    Won
Pat McDonough, Rep. 25,450   21.6%    Won
Kathy Szeliga, Rep. 24,573   20.9%    Won
Jeff Beard, Dem. 14,885   12.6%    Lost
Kristina A. Sargent, Dem. 13,551   11.5%    Lost
James Ward Morrow, Dem. 11,960   10.2%    Lost
Other Write-Ins 111   0.1%    Lost


  1. ^ Gaudiano, Nicole (March 2, 2015). "Longtime Sen. Barbara Mikulski to retire". USA Today. Retrieved February 23, 2016. 
  2. ^ http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/politics/2016-senate-race/bs-md-kathy-szeliga-senate-profile-20160421-story.html
  3. ^ a b "Kathy Szeliga, Maryland State Delegate". Msa.maryland.gov. Retrieved February 15, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Kathy Szeliga, Republican everywoman, says she brings business experience, blue-collar background". Baltimore Sun. April 21, 2016. Retrieved April 27, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Kathy Szeliga wins GOP Senate nomination". Baltimore Sun. April 26, 2016. Retrieved April 27, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Harford 2010: The Dagger's Top Ten Stories Of The Year". Dagger Press. December 30, 2010. Retrieved April 27, 2016. 
  7. ^ "House of Delegates committee assignments are in". Baltimore Sun. December 30, 2010. Retrieved April 27, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Kathy Szeliga Brings Experience and Dedication to U.S. Senate Campaign". Montgomery County GOP. April 3, 2016. Retrieved April 27, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Important Down-Ticket Primaries Tomorrow". Red State. April 25, 2016. Retrieved April 27, 2016. 
  10. ^ Dresser, Michael (November 10, 2015). "Kathy Szeliga joins Senate race, seeking Mikulski's seat". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved April 15, 2016. 
  11. ^ Fritze, John (April 7, 2016). "Kathy Szeliga airs first ad in GOP Senate primary race". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved April 15, 2016. 
  12. ^ Nirappil, Fenit (April 15, 2016). "Citizens United airs Md. radio ads backing GOP Senate candidate Kathy Szeliga". Washington Post. Retrieved April 16, 2016. 
  13. ^ Press, Associated (April 26, 2016). "Del. Kathy Szeliga wins the Republican nomination for open U.S. Senate seat". ABC 2 Baltimore. Retrieved April 27, 2016. 
  14. ^ http://patch.com/maryland/bethesda-chevychase/maryland-senate-race-democrat-chris-van-hollen-vs-del-kathy-szeliga
  15. ^ "Official 2016 Presidential General Election results for U.S. Senator". Maryland State Board of Elections. Retrieved February 26, 2017. 
  16. ^ "Official 2014 Gubernatorial General Election results for House of Delegates Legislative District 7". Maryland State Board of Elections. Retrieved February 24, 2016. 
  17. ^ "Official 2010 Gubernatorial General Election results for House of Delegates Legislative District 7". Maryland State Board of Elections. Retrieved February 23, 2016. 

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Eric Wargotz
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Maryland
(Class 3)

Most recent