For eleven years in the Maryland House of Delegates, he fought to protect open space, improve the public schools, boost the University of Maryland, hold down taxes on middle class working and retired families, and protect our neighborhoods from drugs and crime.
In 1997, President Bill Clinton asked him to join his administration as U.S. Ambassador to Romania, where he worked to win friends for America and make the world a safer place.
Returning in 2001, Governor Glendening appointed Jim to a five year term on the Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland, which governs the university. He continued to champion the College Park campus -- and he led the fight against state budget cuts to the university and against double digit tuition hikes. He helped draft and pass legislation to restore the cuts and freeze tuition in 2006 and 2007.
In 2006, Jim was elected to represent the 21st District in the Maryland Senate, where he serves as Senate Chair of the Prince George’s County Delegation and the Joint Technology Committee, as well as a member of the Senate Finance Committee and in the Senate Democratic Leadership.