It didn’t take long for Del. James E. Malone Jr. to get emotional after learning he was one of two recipients of the House of Delegates’ Sen. Charles “Mac” Mathias award.
Almost as soon as Malone reached the rostrum, the delegate got emotional—much to the chagrin of those who incorrectly predicted he would get weepy on his way up.
“I know there was a pool on when I would cry,” Malone, D-Howard and Baltimore County, said. “Now I know why the Speaker told me he had Feb 12.”
Malone, vice chairman of the House Environmental Matters Committee, received the award on Wednesday for his work with both Democrats and Republicans. The award is named after the late Republican U.S. Senator from Maryland who was well-known for working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle.
The other recipient was Del. Robert A. Costa, R-Anne Arundel.
House Speaker Michael E. Busch said Malone received the award, which has been handed out at the end of each four-year term, because of his efforts both in committee and on the floor of the House.
This is Malone’s last session in the House of Delegates. He announced last year that he would retire after a 20-year career that began in 1994.
Malone, a retired Baltimore County firefighter, introduced his mother and daughter Danica and son Jimmy and said he was entering his second retirement because of family reasons.
“For all those of you who don’t know, after session last year little Jimmy came to me and said ‘dad, we don’t spend enough time together’ and it broke my heart,” Malone said, choking up a little. “So that is the reason that I’m not running next time—because I want to spend more time with little Jimmy and Danica.”