They share a passion for politics

Just Married

Jennifer Holland and Mathew Palmer

July 07, 2002|By Sandy Alexander | Sandy Alexander,Sun Staff

Politically, there's no question where Jennifer Holland's and Mathew Palmer's loyalty lies. At their June 22 wedding, they named the tables after Republican politicians and included a quotation from Ronald Reagan on the program.

Emotionally, their loyalty to each other is also easy to see.

"We're never going to lose our zest for one another," Jennifer says. On their wedding day, a Catholic Mass at St. Joseph's Monastery Church in Baltimore was followed by dinner and dancing with 120 friends and family at the Pier 5 Hotel.

Jennifer, 24, was exposed to politics early, growing up in Pasadena as the daughter of an Anne Arundel County councilman. Her class at the Seton Keough High School voted her most likely to be the first female president of the United States.

Mat, 26, was raised in Berlin, and worked on several local campaigns on the Eastern Shore. He says, "After I got into politics, that's definitely what I wanted to do."

Both decided to study political science at Salisbury University, where they had classes together, but did not hit it off. Today, they playfully argue whether she thought she was too good for him or whether he thought he was too cool for her.

Mat was a year ahead of Jennifer and graduated in 1998. In January 1999, he started a job as a legislative aide to state Sen. Timothy R. Ferguson. That winter, Jennifer also came to Annapolis for an internship with state Sen. J. Lowell Stoltzfus, the same senator Mat had interned for a year earlier.

Stoltzfus' assistant reintroduced them, and an invitation to lunch led to lunches every day.

During that session, part of Mat's job was to pick up copies of bills from an office near the one where Jennifer worked. "I would break it up ... so I could go three times," and see her more often, he says. In February, Mat asked Jennifer out to dinner and both agree, "That was pretty much it."

"You don't meet many young people in the Republican Caucus," says Jennifer, "in Maryland of all places." The two clearly share a passion for politics, but, "I'm definitely not as conservative as Jennifer," Mat says. "We get into debates."

But they do agree on going to the beach, spending time with family and the importance of faith in their lives.

When Jennifer graduated in 1999, she headed straight for Washington. After a brief stint at a consulting firm, she became political consultant for the National Rifle Association. The couple's relationship went through a difficult time as Mat returned to the Eastern Shore.

That fall, he accepted a job with Advantage Inc., a political consulting firm in Rosslyn, Va., where he still works today. That enabled him to be closer to Jennifer as well.

In May 2001, Jennifer and Mat went out to dinner while on vacation in St. Michaels. When they returned to the bed and breakfast where they were staying, there were five dozen gerbera daisies and champagne in the main room and a dozen roses in the bedroom. Mat played innocent at first, but when Jennifer returned from looking in the bedroom, he had an engagement ring in his hand.

The two are moving to Arlington, Va., from Fairfax, Va., and they "really want to focus on our careers and our marriage," Jennifer says. But she will also have more time for fun now that she has completed a master's degree in law at George Mason University by taking night classes for two years.

One of the keys to their relationship is, "We complement each other," says Mat. "We work well together." Jennifer adds, "We're secure in ourselves. ... It's important that we let ourselves grow as people."

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