By Ken Rossignol

LEONARDTOWN, MD. – Former St. Mary’s County Delegate John William Quade Jr. died on July 29, 2021. A longtime member of the famed Dorsey Machine in St. Mary’s County politics. Quade served in Vietnam in the United States Marine Corps and was awarded a Purple Heart. 

The news article on life of John William Quade continues below this story by Jack Kershaw of Quades service in the Marines

A key player in the Dorsey political organization headed by the late Circuit Court Judge Phillip Dorsey and later by Walter B. Dorsey, Quade ran for the Maryland Senate in the Democratic Primary in 1974, losing to James Simpson of Charles County.

In 1978, Quade won the Democratic nomination for Delegate for one of three seats shared by Charles County and St. Mary’s County and won the General Election.

Quade was sworn into the Maryland General Assembly in 1979 representing Legislative District 29.  Quade was appointed to serve on the Joint Committee on Community and Economic Development, the Subcommittee on Banking and Joint Committee on Insurance.


In the 1986 Democratic Party Primary race for Commissioner President, George R. Aud beat Quade and Jack Witten while Aud was in jail for tax evasion.  Aud lost the General Election to Republican Joe O’Dell.

Attempting a comeback in elective politics in 1990, John William Quade competed in the Democratic Primary in St. Mary’s County for county commissioner and lost the race to Harry S. “Lanny” Lancaster Jr.
Lancaster lost the general election to Republican Barbara Thompson.

The Dorsey Machine poured on the power in its waning days of influence, hosting an old-time political rally at Bailey’s Olde Breton Inn where States Attorney Walter B. Dorsey and his sons, attorney Phil Dorsey and Green Bay Packers NLF Player and coach John Michael Dorsey gathered a large crowd to his support.


From Left, NFL player and coach of the Green Bay Packers, Chiefs, and Browns, John-Michael-Dorsey;-Delegate John-William-Quade, States Attorney Walter-B.-Dorsey, and -Phil-Dorsey. Photo by Ken Rossignol / THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY

Delegate John William Quade continued to aspire to public office and in 1994, he joined three other Democrats in a bid for the Democratic Party nomination for District 29 in the Maryland Senate, representing St. Mary’s and the southern part of Calvert County. Congressman Roy Dyson was defeated in the 1990 election and he decided to return to Annapolis and easily beat David Densford, Sheriff Wayne Pettit, and Quade who came in last the Democratic Primary. The Primary Election results were Densford – 1,942; Dyson – 6242; Pettit – 1,746; and Quade – 1,565.

Dyson went on to beat former Delegate and St. Mary’s Commissioner President James Manning McKay (who flipped to the GOP) in the General Election when McKay blew through at least $50,000 and Dyson spent about $8,000 for new plywood and paint for his many signs, adding to his leftover collection from his days in Congress.

Dyson stayed in the District 29 seat until he was whipped by Republican Steve Waugh in 2014 when his brother-in-law Delegate John Bohannan (D. Lexington Park) was also tossed out by Republican Deb Rey.

Rey went on to accumulate a record of odd doings in Annapolis leaving herself ripe for revenge by Bohanan who put up a radical Democrat, Brian Crosby, who beat Rey in 2018.

Rey has announced a bid to run again for the seat in 2022 while Crosby has labeled St. Mary’s County a racist place in his efforts to finagle a seat on the St. Mary’s Commissioner Board for a resident of Lexington Park. A move to eliminate at-large voting for commissioners by Crosby failed in the 2021 General Assembly session.

When Liberal Republican Shelby Guazzo pulled off a stunning defeat of Commissioner Larry Jarboe in the GOP primary in 1998 by a margin of about 200 votes, the Democratic Central Committee appointed Quade to be the Democratic candidate in the General Election, which he lost to Guazzo.  Jarboe returned in 2002 to defeat Guazzo and win reelection in 2006 and 2010.

The only person elected four times as county commissioner in St. Mary’s County in modern history, Larry Jarboe, endorsed Quade in the 1998 General Election. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

After serving three consecutive terms, Jarboe was term-limited and ran for State Senate in the GOP primary, losing to Steve Waugh.  Jarboe later endorsed Jack Bailey, who beat Waugh in the GOP State Senate primary in 2018.

Del.-John-William-Quade – THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photos

Del. John Quade, attending a fundraiser for Attorney General Doug Gansler held at Fitzies Marina. / The Chesapeake

Quade’s chief legislative accomplishment as a Delegate was to remove the cap on interest rates in Maryland on consumer loans when credit tightened up during the Carter Administration.

Betty and St. Mary’s County Commissioner Larry Millison present a check for Air Expo to a Navy officer in the lobby of the Belvedere Restaurant, during its heyday as a gathering place for social and political events and destination as a popular dining spot.

Quade was a close confidant of the late St. Mary’s Commissioner Larry Millison and worked with Millison Development on several key projects in the 1980s including the San Souci Shopping Center and residential development.

The Dorsey Machine is ready to roll. 062694 John C. Wright

Becoming a real estate broker and property appraiser, Quade operated Brick House Realty located in Leonardtown.  Quade belonged to many organizations including the Seventh District Optimist Club, the Fleet Reserve, VFW, Disabled American Veterans, St. Mary’s Taxpayers Association, the Tri-County Council, the Maryland Waterman’s Association and the 4th and 5th District Democratic Club of Charles County, and the St. Mary’s Democratic Club.

John Quade was born in 1947 in Oakley, Maryland in the Seventh District and never lived anywhere else but in Seventh except for his time in Annapolis and serving in the Marines. He attended Margaret Brent High School; Charles County Community College; St. Mary’s College, B.A., 1971, University of Baltimore Law School.

St. Mary’s Bar Association. Philip Dorsey, lower left, helped pass the repeal of prohibition in the Maryland General Assembly and was later appointed to the Circuit Court where he served until he retired in 1970. Bottom right, next to Judge Dorsey is William O. E. Sterling, who became St. Mary’s first District Court Judge. Photo courtesy of Walter B. Dorsey.

The last time for the old-time members of the Dorsey Machine and politicos from the region that knew Del. John William Quade to gather will be for his send-off visitation at the Mattingley- Gardiner Funeral Home in Leonardtown.

Monday, August 9th, 2021 9:00 am – 10:00 with a service at 10:30 in the funeral home chapel. Burial will be later at Arlington National Cemetary where he will join his comrades in arms.

  • Dinner for six hundred at Jack Bailey for Senate Bushwood event at Ocean Hall on April 27, 2018. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo
  • THE CHESAPEAKE TALES & SCALES - Short Story collection by Lenny Rudow, Beth McCoy, Capt. Larry Jarboe, John Peterson, Mel Brokenshire, Mark Robbins, Stephen Gore Uhler, Patty Muchow, Ed Laney & Ken Rossignol in Kindle, paperback and Audible


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