James was born in Washington, DC, but spent his first night, and almost all of them since, in the shadow of the Chesapeake Bay.
He grew up the middle of three children in neighboring Prince George’s County. A lover of all things sporting, James participated in everything available from the Boys and Girls Club. Whether it was baseball, basketball, football, tennis or soccer, he enjoyed the camaraderie and experience of playing team sports, along with the joy of competition.
At his father’s urging, his community service began early, cleaning the neighborhood of trash with his brother and sister. Every week, he and his family embraced beautifying the community, building character and an understanding of the work ethic necessary for getting the job done.
His first job of consequence was at Giant Food, where he continued a lifetime of service and assistance to others, and where he discovered his talent for interaction, chatting with customers at every opportunity.
He worked in retail banking management throughout much of the next two decades, assisting clients and establishing relationships that saw them through their best and worst of days.
He and his family moved to Northern New Jersey where he switched careers before returning to school the week before the 9/11 attacks on the country.
As we commemorate the 20th anniversary of that solemn day, he remembers not just the devastating loss of life, but also the spirit and strength of first responders and our military, not just in Southern Manhattan, but at the Pentagon and in Southwestern Pennsylvania.
Two years later, he graduated as Valedictorian of the largest-ever class at Essex County College and received a full scholarship to Rutgers College, where he graduated with High Honors and his Bachelor’s Degree in History.
He has spent the last 17 years working alongside his father, M.H. Jim Estepp, former Chair of the Prince George’s County Council, and the longest-serving Fire Chief in county history. It is from his father that he learned to cherish the work of those like his father who rush headlong into danger rather than flee from it.
The work he does helps bring communities together with their elected and appointed leaders, businesses, civic and faith leaders, our military and local school systems, fostering relationships that benefit them all.
In addition to nurturing an unswerving support for first responders, James’ father taught him that serving on a county council is even more about serving the constituency than it is the legislation that you help pass.
If James is elected to serve this richly diverse community, it will be his mission to improve the lives of everyone in District 4, every day, by making certain your concerns are heard and that your questions are answered.
As a father of five, including a county high schooler, an elementary schooler, and an infant, ensuring the future for them, and for all of you, will always be paramount in his thoughts and deeds.
In addition to his day job, James serves as a Director on the Anne Arundel County Library Board of Trustees, as a member of the Anne Arundel County Democratic Central Committee, on the Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation, with the Bishop McNamara Board of Directors, and as President of the Imagine Andrews Board for the school built on Joint Base Andrews, serving communities on- and off-base.
James lives in Odenton with his wife Inga and their children Lucas and Hannah.