Former Maryland Delegate Carmen Amedori, Staunch Gun Rights Advocate, Dies at 68

Carmen Amedori, a former Republican delegate from Carroll County known for her strong advocacy of gun rights and her expertise in criminal and juvenile justice issues, passed away on Sunday at the age of 68 after a long battle with chronic kidney disease.

During her time in the Maryland House of Delegates, Amedori established herself as a vocal conservative with a deep understanding of the legal system. Retired Maryland Supreme Court Chief Judge Joseph Getty, who served alongside Amedori on the Judiciary Committee, praised her accomplishments as a legislator.

“She was extremely diligent in her work on the committee, especially having served as a district court commissioner prior to her service in the House of Delegates,” Getty said. “She was knowledgeable about real-life situations in criminal law.”

Getty attributed Amedori’s success as a legislator to her extensive legal background, stating, “She had enough legal touch points that made her a very good member.” He also noted her dedication to her work, recalling how she would keep him informed about the latest developments in the House when he arrived in the morning after tending to his young children in Manchester.

Amedori had been battling kidney disease for the past six years, but she kept the details of her condition private until her health rapidly declined last weekend, and she entered home hospice care. Her daughter, Nicole Amedori, said her mother passed away peacefully at her home in Westminster.

Born on November 25, 1955, in Baltimore, Carmen Amedori was the fourth of five children. Her father, Carmine “Mimi” Mario Amedori, opened a Highlandtown Tavern after retiring as a foreman for a Baltimore contractor, while her mother, Delores Grace Amedori (nee Perry), was a homemaker.

Amedori attended Franklin High School in the Reisterstown area of Baltimore County before earning a degree in paralegal studies from Villa Julie College (now Stevenson University) in 1975. She worked as a paralegal in family, criminal, and real estate law until 1985, when she briefly transitioned to journalism, working for the Baltimore Sun and later the Carroll County Times, winning numerous awards for her reporting.

In 1991, Amedori took a job as a District Court commissioner in Carroll County. She later served as campaign manager for her husband, Jerry F. Barnes, in his successful campaign for Carroll County state’s attorney in 1994. Amedori herself was elected to the House in 1998 and re-elected four years later.

As a Republican in the minority, Amedori developed a reputation as a conservative firebrand, with some colleagues nicknaming her “Carmen Armageddon.” However, she also demonstrated a willingness to listen to compelling arguments and change her stance when necessary, as evidenced by her pivotal vote in favor of a bill that paved the way for Maryland’s medical cannabis program.

Amedori’s passion for public service extended beyond her time in the House of Delegates. From 2004 to 2010, she served on the Maryland Parole Commission after being nominated by then-Governor Robert Ehrlich. She briefly ran as a lieutenant governor candidate in 2010 before withdrawing and encouraging Republicans to back Ehrlich.

Carmen Amedori is survived by her husband, Timothy Wade Headley, her daughters Nicole and Kara, and her sister Mariea Amedori of Ocean Pines. She was preceded in death by her former spouse Jerry Barnes, her parents, her sister Carol Ann Amedori Long, and her brothers Joseph “Ricci” Ricardo Amedori and John Patrick Amedori I. A memorial service is planned for a later date.

Source: Maryland Matters