Unspun: Kathy Afzali — from dancer to delegate


Delegate Kathryn Afzali
January 18, 2013

Name: Delegate Kathryn Afzali

Age: “Oh, do you have to put it?”

Occupation: Businesswoman, delegate from District 4A, Frederick County

Hometown: Middletown, Md.

Party: Republican

Which celebrities do you resemble? Well, I don’t think this, but people compare me to Reese Witherspoon’s character in “Legally Blonde.” She’s much prettier and richer and with a larger bra size than me, but I think we share a kind of roundabout way of getting things done. Women legislators and men have a different way of making that happen. Men are big on standing up and pontificating. Women get busy.

What’s your most important priority this year? This year it’s gun control.

When did you become a conservative? When I first voted, I voted for Jimmy Carter. My parents were Goldwater conservatives, and when I told my mom who I voted for, she hung up! Then I didn’t vote in the next election. Then I had a “Schwarzenegger moment” where I heard Reagan speaking, and I said, “Whatever he is, that’s what I want to be.”

What sort of music do you like? I have satellite radio in my car and it’s turned to the broadway station. I love the classics. “West Side Story,” “Carousel,” “The Sound of Music” — I’m so corny. I was a dancer in New York, a Broadway dancer. I danced, I sang, I acted.

What would we have seen you in? I did “Cats.” I did “Peter Pan” and “Grease.” I did some others you wouldn’t have heard of because they closed very quickly. I also did commercials — the actor’s bread and butter. I did Bayer Aspirin, Coca -Cola, McDonald’s.

What did you think of the “Les Miserables” movie? I am not a huge “Les Mis” fan because back when I auditioned for it I didn’t get it. But I want to see it. I want to give it another chance.

What are your favorite things to do in Annapolis? I love hanging out with my delegate [and] my senator friends. Especially my lady friends down here. We share a common bond

Are there different Republican and Democrat bars? Oh no! I don’t know how partisan it is in Washington, but in Annapolis we put it all aside after we get off the floor. We’re friends, we care about each other. If someone has a death in the family, we look out for them.

What is your favorite possession? My grandmother’s china. Right before World War II broke out, my grandfather had saved up enough to buy her the most beautiful china. They used it every special occasion. But after he died she couldn’t bear to look at it so she boxed it up for me because I was the only granddaughter. My first Thanksgiving with my husband I wanted to use the china, and my mom sent it to me. And when it arrived I started to unpack it and I burst into tears. It was the most beautiful china I’d ever seen, and I kept thinking about her and thinking “Thank you, Grandma!” She had been dead for many years. And my mom called and I told her what I was doing and she said, “Do you know what day it is?” It was their wedding anniversary, the anniversary when he had given her the china, maybe 45 years ago.

How did you meet your husband? I was a down-and-out actress, producing [videos] for Estee Lauder, and we were shooting videos at a shopping mall in New Jersey and he came in, and then I was at a shopping mall at a completely other place and he came in there, too. And the second time I saw him I looked at him and I knew. We were engaged three weeks later. Twenty-one years later, I haven’t killed him yet!

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