IN THE SPOTLIGHT WITH WENDY THOMPSON – Jennie Forehand: Beloved State Senator retires, leaves behind a smoke-free Maryland and more

If there is one Maryland legislator—among others–who works ferociously and tirelessly in the General Assembly, it is Senator Jennie Forehand.  Her list of accomplishments makes onlookers sigh in disbelief as she chronicles her life and career in her soft pastel office.  The cool tone of the room adequately mirrors her gentle southern temperament and accent.  She remembers walking into a committee meeting during her first week on the job when she noticed that there was an ash tray on every seat and every desk.

She was the first person to arrive; she walked around and collected the ash trays and hid them under the radiators. “When the committee was ready to begin, the lawmakers came in and began searching for their ashtrays.  When the men began smoking anyway and putting the ashes in the cuffs of their pants,” she mused. “I was slightly amused, but that was the beginning of my passion to get people to stop smoking.” Forehand did this for three days and it eventually led to Maryland becoming smoke free. This was  an issue close to her heart, because her father, who never smoked himself but worked around people who did, passed away of from lung cancer.

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