Meet Newly Elected County Officials: Alex Rasin, Ruth Anne Callaham

MACo would like to introduce its new county elected officials. The Conduit Street blog will feature occasional profiles of newly elected officials, highlighting their backgrounds, interests and key issues. This post marks the first in a series to provide this initial introduction to the county community, and the broader Conduit Street readership.

Photo courtesy of Alex Rasin

Alex P. Rasin,III
Kent County, Commissioner, At Large

Born and raised in Chestertown, Alex Rasin brings a wealth of experience to the Kent County Commissioners. Rasin has been active in county government since he was first elected to a seat as County Commissioner when he was in his thirties. He served terms from 1982-1986 and 1986-1990, then completed the 2006 term of the late Scott Livie. Now in his sixties, Rasin returns to once again represent Kent County.

After graduating from Chestertown High School, Rasin attended Washington and Lee University and the University of Maryland Law School, following in the footsteps of his father. He and his wife Marjo have been married 41 years and are parents of Katherine, who followed the family tradition into law, and Beth, editor of The Chronicle of the Horse, a national magazine for competitive equestrians. Rasin also has two granddaughters, Sophia and Maggie.

Like many Eastern Shoremen, Rasin enjoys duck and goose hunting. He owns a small boat and enjoys fishing on the Bay, although he says the past year was the worst since he began fishing 13 years ago. He is a fan of the Orioles and the Ravens, with a partial season ticket plan for football season.

Economic matters will figure strongly in the challenges facing incoming officials all over Maryland. “State funding formulas don’t favor small counties,” Rasin says, so budget concerns are exacerbated in Kent County, Maryland’s least populous county with only slightly more than 20,000 residents.

Photo courtesy of Ruth Anne Callaham

Ruth Anne Callaham
Washington County, Commissioner, At Large

Ruth Anne Callaham thrives on activity. A graduate of Southwest Texas State University with an MBA from Mount Saint Mary’s, Callaham was a project manager for the federal government for 23 years. Retirement gave her time to become more involved in Washington County life. She became executive director of Food Resources, a non-profit organization, and was appointed to the Housing Authority and to the Washington County Commission for Women.

Callaham pursues her leisure activities with vitality and verve as well, having biked the entire length of the C&O Canal from east to west and hiked the width of the state on the Appalachian Trail. In the future she plans to do some still water kayaking and to travel across the U.S. by train.

Callaham and her husband Art have called Washington County home since 1977. Storytelling is a pastime they enjoy sharing with their two grown children, Samantha Wade and Father Art Callaham, and with grandchildren Ethan, Dominic, and Hannah. A favorite sport is corn hole, which involves pitching corn-filled 6” square bags into a hole cut into an inverted board.

The issue of managed growth first attracted Callaham to politics. Seeing others focus on the negative aspects of growth, she intends to accentuate the positive aspects of the issue. Because she is a former classroom teacher, substitute teacher, coach, church youth leader, and a member of Washington County’s Board of Education, she is also an ardent advocate of education and student achievement.

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