Roy Dyson

Royden Patrick (Roy) Dyson (born November 15, 1948) is an American politician. He is a former Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from Maryland.

Born in Great Mills, Maryland, Dyson attended private schools and graduated from Great Mills High School in 1966. He attended the University of Maryland, College Park, and the University of Baltimore in 1968, 1969, and 1970. He also served as a legislative assistant in the United States House of Representatives from 1973 to 1974.

Dyson was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates, serving from 1975 to 1980, and was a delegate in 1978 to the Democratic National Issues Conference. Dyson ran for Congress in the Eastern Shore-based 1st District in 1976, losing to two-term Republican Robert Bauman. However, he defeated Bauman in 1980 after Bauman was charged with soliciting a teenage boy and admitted his homosexuality, becoming the first Democrat to represent the district in 18 years and only the second since 1947.

Dyson was elected three times without serious difficulty, but came under fire in 1988 for receiving campaign funds and honoraria from defense contractors. He came under further scrutiny after the suicide of his administrative assistant and top aide, Tom Pappas, on May 1, 1988. Pappas leaped from a New York City hotel on the day that an article appeared in the "Washington Post" asserting that Pappas had hired young male staffers in Dyson's office and attempted to force them to drink and socialize with him. The revelation caused speculation about Dyson's own sexual orientation but he denied that he was a homosexual.

Nevertheless, the spectacle played poorly in Dyson's district; while it has a Democratic majority, it has a strong tinge of social conservatism. In the 1988 election, his Republican opponent was Wayne Gilchrest, a high school teacher who had never run for office before. Dyson barely held onto his seat, winning by only 460 votes. In 1990, Gilchrest defeated Dyson 57% to 43% despite again being badly outspent by Dyson, who received substantial PAC contributions in all of his later campaigns.

In 1995, Dyson was elected to the Maryland Senate, representing District 29 (St. Mary's County and southern Calvert County). As of 2006, he resides in Great Mills.


* [ Maryland Senate biography]

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