Great Montgomery Republicans

Great County Republicans

By Ann Guthrie Hingston


Last week we lost Jayne Harper Plank, 89, after a life devoted to her family and many friends and a successful career as a Republican official in Maryland and the federal government. Gracious and generous, Jayne was a doer and a real patriot.  She enjoyed bringing her many friends together and chatting about life and politics. She lived by the saying “There are no strangers, just friends we have yet to meet.” 

Jayne Plank was a seventh generation Washingtonian who graduated from the Academy of the Holy Cross and George Washington University and studied Middle Eastern studies at Georgetown University in the 1950’s. With her husband, the late William H Plank, Sr. she raised five sons in Kensington.

Concerned about her community, Jayne ran and was first elected to the Kensington Town Council in 1967, serving until 1974 when she was elected Mayor, a position she held for four terms. In addition to serving as the first woman Mayor of Kensington, Jayne was the first woman elected as President of the Maryland Municipal League and the first woman to serve as the State of Maryland's representative to the National League of Cities.  In honor of her service to the town, the renovated Kensington Cabin, originally built in 1934, was renamed the Mayor Jayne H. Plank Kensington Cabin in 2018.

Appointed by President Reagan in 1982 as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs at the Department of State, Jayne was put in charge of creating a liaison office to work with governors, mayors, county officials and state legislators relative to the administration's policies. She served in that position for five years. Jayne also served on the Christopher Columbus Quincentenary Jubilee Commission, charged with planning the events and programs that were held in 1992 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Columbus bringing together the New World and Europe.  

Throughout her life Jayne was active in historic preservation, philanthropic and civic organizations and helping military veterans.  A trustee of the Maryland Historical Society, Governor Ehrlich appointed her to the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority in 2005.  Most recently she served on the Board of the USO.

Jayne was an active member of the Chevy Chase Republican Women’s Club, hosting their annual Luncheon for Caregivers of patients at Walter Reed Hospital with the Yellow Ribbon Foundation.  She was a member of the Patriot Point LLC Campaign Committee, and the Women’s Leadership Group of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington.

Jayne was the recipient of many awards, most notably in 2016 Sister Cities International awarded her their annual Diplomatic Leadership Award, honoring her career and commitment to building and maintaining international relationships.  She was recognized in 2017 with George Washington University’s prestigious Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, an award created in 1937 to recognize individuals who have distinguished themselves through notable achievements in their professional and personal lives.

We are blessed to have known Jayne Plank.  We send our prayers and condolences to her family. 


Bob L. Woodson, Sr.

Each month we feature a prominent Montgomery County resident engaged in advancing Conservative ideals.  We commemorate Black History month by showcasing Silver Spring resident and civil rights activist, Robert L. Woodson, Sr. and the work of his Center for Neighborhood Enterprise, renamed the Woodson Center in 2020.

For decades Woodson has promoted liberty, economic opportunity, faith and personal responsibility by helping homegrown community leaders fight poverty and crime. Most recently Robert Woodson has aggressively challenged the false history that America is an oppressive, racist society and blacks are America’s perpetual victims.

He takes on The 1619 Project and Critical Race Theory in his book Red, White, and Black: Rescuing American History from Revisionists and Race Hustlers, essays by black scholars and writers who tell how blacks built a hundred colleges, their own medical schools, hotels, railroads and banking systems when doors were closed to them. There are stories about 20 former slaves who became millionaires. “These accomplishments were made possible by a set of values cherished among the Blacks of the time: self-determination, resiliency, personal virtue, honesty, honor and accountability,” Woodson wrote in The Wall Street Journal. 

To promote virtues of character and honor and to equip students to take charge of their futures, the Woodson Center has developed the 1776 Unites curriculum showcasing blacks who have prospered by embracing America’s founding ideals. The K-12 curriculum has received high marks from the Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy and can be used to supplement history, civics, English and social/emotional learning topics. Free to all it can be downloaded HERE>

Thank you, Robert Woodson.


William J. Bennett

We kick off 2023 with a new feature focusing each month on a prominent Montgomery County resident engaged in advancing Conservative ideals. We begin with William J. Bennett, a Chevy Chase resident and Gonzaga High School graduate, who is one of the nation's most influential and respected voices on cultural, political, and educational issues. He served as Secretary of Education and Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities under President Reagan and as the first Drug Czar under President George H.W.Bush.

Bennett is well known for his successful anthology of stories, The Book of Virtues, which he, and his wife Elayne, have reissued with an 30th Anniversary edition. 

AEI's Senior Fellow Robert Pondiscio puts it in perspective in his Op-Ed that appeared in City Journal. READ THE ARTICLE HERE>


Ann Guthrie Hingston is a Member of the Maryland Republican Central Committee from Montgomery County.

Montgomery County Republican Party