Home Government 2018 General Election Voters Guide-Howard County

2018 General Election Voters Guide-Howard County

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COUNTY EXECUTIVE

ALLAN KITTLEMAN (R) (Incumbent): I sought the office of County Executive four years ago to bring a new perspective to local government, one that was more inclusive, accountable and representative of people’s concerns. Years of serving Howard County residents as both a County Council member and State Senator exposed me to issues that, with the right leadership, could be handled locally with care and compassion. Since being elected, my Administration has demonstrated that we are willing to tackle tough issues, issues that others refused to take on. I credit much of the successful resolutions we reached – whether it’s funding our schools, building more affordable housing, or bringing new jobs into the county – to forming successful partnerships. There is a tremendous amount of talent and passion in Howard County government, our community non-profits, and our businesses. My philosophy continues to reflect a desire to bring these parties together and find mutually beneficial solutions to shared challenges. By putting partisan politics aside and by bringing people together, we have been able to strengthen our development laws, create a community resources campus for our human service providers, address the opioid epidemic, fund a new courthouse, and preserve the Harriet Tubman School. However, there is more I’m eager to do in my second term: establishing the Gateway Innovation District; building the 13th high school; developing a more dependable transportation system; rewriting our zoning code; and, making Historic Ellicott City safe again. Howard County has a bright future because when you bring people together, awesome things happen.

CALVIN BALL (D): Howard County needs a County Executive who is an inclusive, accountable leader focused on the success of our entire community. Our community includes our neighbors who are concerned about class size increases, school budget deficits, and business people who care about increasing commercial square footage while maintaining an affordable living environment. Howard County residents and businesses deserve a predictable and efficient government where the policies are clear. They also deserve an accessible leader who will be held accountable while being dedicated to helping Howard County be the very best place to raise a family, grow a business, and promote equal opportunity. Howard County needs a vision for inclusive growth. I want businesses in every part of this county to share in the prosperity. We will work to attract new businesses to this community, but more importantly, we will focus on strengthening those that call Howard County home. If honored to be your next County Executive, I will ensure responsible and efficient use of our taxpayer dollars, help grow private sector jobs that provide a living wage, and support small businesses and entrepreneurs while encouraging innovation. I will make Howard County the destination for innovative new businesses who want to capitalize on our educated workforce and high quality of life. We want to live in a Howard County that promotes equal opportunity for all of us!

COUNTY COUNCIL DISTRICT 1

RAJ  KATHURIA (R): I am Raj Kathuria, your candidate for Howard County Council District 1. I am a realtor, and a small business owner of a poultry waste Renewable Energy startup. Previously, I was the CEO and owner of Bistro Blanc, a successful Howard County restaurant. I am a Naturalized Citizen from India and a 32-year Howard County resident, living with my wife Sangita and 3 children. I am also an active member of the Howard County philanthropic community, a graduate of Leadership Howard County and an executive board member of Indian Origin Network of Howard County (IONHOCO). In addition, I am multi-lingual, can speak six languages and have a global outlook.

I understand how successful businesses are built. I will create a business-friendly environment and make Howard County a premier business destination where businesses can thrive and generate employment. I will ensure sustainable development with adequate public facilities to make Howard County the place to work, live, play and educate our children. It is unfortunate that the class sizes are increasing and that is why I was an early advocate for building High School #14 in Elkridge. I support preservation of historic Ellicott City main street and stand behind the bipartisan Ellicott City Rebuilding proposal put forth by County Executive Allan Kittleman and Councilman Jon Weinstein. As your Councilman, I will bring a common sense approach to the governance, and work across the aisle to do what is best for the County and hold everyone involved accountable. It’s always, People Before Politics.

LIZ WALSH (D): For nearly twenty years now, I am a construction lawyer. I draft and negotiate contracts to design, build and manage construction projects. I advise general contractors and project owners as to what their contracts say, what the law says, and what that means they can and probably shouldn’t do. Depending on what’s at hand, I can be a collaborative problem-solver dedicated to preserving long-standing business relationships, or I can be the fiercest advocate. Before law school, I was a project engineer for a national general contractor. I bid and ran construction projects in the field. My civil engineering degree is from Georgia Tech, my high school diploma, Mt. Hebron. I will bring this experience and education to bear as the Council undertakes a complete re-working of local land-use laws and zoning plans in the next term. I am committed to engaging every possible local, state and federal resource to contribute to the comprehensive watershed-wide, long-term plan we need to mitigate deadly flooding in old Ellicott City – one that does not require that we intentionally destroy a centuries-old streetscape. And I will pursue every opportunity to site and fund the construction of new schools, where our kids are, now. We need clear-eyed competence in government right now. We need responsible and long-minded stewards of our neighborhoods, small business corridors and green spaces. We need lawmakers who listen, who will make common-sense decisions for the common good. I am honored to be that candidate for you in District One. #walshforone

COUNTY COUNCIL DISTRICT 2

JOHN LIAO (R): I am running for county council in District 2 East Columbia to turn things around for the district and for the county. District 2 is the district of Elkridge, Howard High School, Columbia business district, Long Reach and Oakland Mills Village. The issue of development in Howard County has reached a critical point where the county needs a sustainable long-term plan for housing and infrastructure for Columbia and adjacent communities to ensure safety and quality of life for all the residents. The other challenge for the county is development of the commercial sector. District 2 has plenty of space suitable for commercial development and it is open for business. I aim to get businesses to make Howard County their home base and create jobs for local residents. In addition, I will look into innovative programs that can help people in the community, especially our youths to become future entrepreneurs and business owners. District 2 is located in an excellent location next to Route 1, it has great infrastructure and schools, the conditions are favorable for rapid business development and new opportunities for everyone. I am ready to work with the community, the council and county executive, and the state government to set the district on a new course and to make our county better and stronger.

OPEL JONES (D): My qualifications and experience vary between teaching, leadership, community service, and serving on a county commission. I’ve just finished my 13th year as an educator on the collegiate level, including several years as the Director of Leadership Institute at my alma mater. With respect to community service, I am a Life Member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., mentoring and tutoring young men and women in Howard County. Additionally, I was appointed by then County Executive, Ken Ulman, to serve on the Human Rights Commission. There are several priorities this next Council may undertake, including overcrowding of schools, whether Howard County will be a Sanctuary County, and development in and around Columbia. My stance on each of these three would first and foremost be to listen to the community, and not be so quick to make a decision or make promises to veto bills before the community has spoken. Listening to ALL of Howard County is an absolute prerequisite. Then if the people have spoken adequately for and/or against any of these issues, I would be more inclined to support the will of the majority.

COUNTY COUNCIL DISTRICT 3

CHRISTINA RIGBY (D): My parents moved to Columbia following the vision of Jim Rouse in the 1970’s. After graduating from Hammond HS and UMBC, I started my career as a community organizer, giving communities a voice in government. I returned to start my family in the village of Kings Contrivance several years ago. I’ve served our area as a tireless advocate through my current roles as Vice Chair of the Kings Contrivance Village Board, a member of the Economic Resource Allocation Committee under the Howard’s BPSS, board member to Howard Ecoworks, and founder of the Howard County Women’s Democratic Alliance. My professional life has been dedicated to public service. I’ve spent over a decade working in the government and nonprofit sectors with organizations like the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, Public Interest Research Group (PIRGS), Alice Ferguson Foundation, and United Way of Central Maryland. My experience highlights my commitment to advocating for our community, as well as my qualifications that prepare me to serve. My highest priority is to create and expand opportunities for all residents. We must fund our education system so that all children receive a quality education. I will work to ensure safe and inclusive neighborhoods that provide people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities a welcoming place to call home. Within District 3, I will work with our communities and focus on increasing investment and revitalization in our older neighborhoods. I am deeply committed to continuing to serve our residents and will steward their issues and concerns.

COUNTY COUNCIL DISTRICT 4

LISA KIM (R): I am a wife, a mother, a nonprofit board member and a business owner. I have a 9-year-old son who attends an overcrowded Fulton Elementary School, a school that has gone from 0 to 9 trailers this year. Before becoming a business owner, I was a financial analyst for Lockheed Martin with the Hubble Space Telescope Program. I served as Neighborhood Watch President and have been a three-time elected legislator in Prince George’s County. This election year we find ourselves in a unique position in that every seat on our County Council is open. I am the only candidate who has legislative experience.  Experience is needed to maintain consistent and adequate representation of what it is we want for ourselves here in Howard County. I am a proven champion of the hard-working citizen, an advocate for the under-served and a strong and connected public servant who believes government should be efficient, to-the-point and goal oriented. We have the ability to solve real problems that directly affect us, our children and our community. I am committed to always maintaining open lines of communication with you, focusing on issues that matter to us, and when progress stalls, bring people together to advance the conversation in order to make strong public policy where everyone is represented. I bring a balanced approach to legislating with my varied experience and will serve our County’s residents of all ages and our rich multi-cultural mosaic that contributes so much to our communities’ character.

DEB JUNG (D): I have lived in Columbia for 30 years and raised my family here. As a successful attorney in the nonprofit sector for over 25 years and a community leader, I bring strong advocacy, analytical, and negotiating skills to the legislative arena. I have a record of bringing people together to find consensus solutions and have been trained to conduct due diligence and ask tough questions — qualities important to legislative oversight and transparency. My performance on the various County boards and school organizations demonstrates a commitment to detail, responsiveness, and transparency, as well as my ability to work hard and get the job done. I understand District 4 and how it fits into the broader fabric of life in Howard County. My priorities are maintaining a strong school system, ensuring we follow responsible environmental policies, bringing more public transportation to Howard County, public safety, increased affordable housing, and maintenance of a strong safety net, particularly for our children, seniors and other vulnerable populations. I am ready to tackle the difficult issues posed by the Ellicott City flooding, including the recently enacted building moratorium and mitigation plans. Growth management will be a key issue; we need to ensure that development does not outpace public facilities such as schools and undermine our quality of life. As a County taxpayer for 30 years, I understand the importance of growing the economy, sound fiscal management and protecting the County’s Triple A bond rating. I will strive to achieve these goals.

COUNTY COUNCIL DISTRICT 5

DAVID YUNGMANN (R): I have extensive professional background in finance, budgeting, real estate and legislative affairs. My community leadership has resulted in achievements at a high level in zoning/development, schools and businesses matters. I serve as a director and volunteer for a broad range of community organizations serving county citizens in business advocacy, education, the arts, real estate, financial literacy and public safety, including playing a key role in legislative affairs. I have been a resident of Howard County and my district for 45 years. My priorities will be to complete the revision of our zoning and development regulations in order to reduce ambiguity and qualitative parts of approval processes, improve predictability for all property owners, strengthen the role of the General Plan, streamline development processes and reduce number of conditional uses and zoning districts. Maintaining fiscal discipline will also be a top priority. I will oppose additional taxes and fees that increase costs for our residents and businesses. I will work to refocus our sources of economic growth to a greater focus on commercial development and what is otherwise needed to attract businesses, including continuing Downtown Columbia redevelopment, following through on Gateway redevelopment, reviving Rt. 1 and Rt. 40 master plans and start turning to aging residential neighborhoods for redevelopment opportunities.

CHINA WILLIAMS (D): I am a writer, mom, and former PTA president. I ran my PTA like a small business: increasing revenue, decreasing costs, marketing and branding our identity, and modernizing internal recordkeeping and financial systems. During my PTA tenure, I also provided constituent services to my community, helping them navigate the school bureaucracy and lobbying for more school and community resources.

As a guidebook writer, I researched complicated and polarized subjects and dissected these issues for a lay audience. I am able to understand both sides of an issue, articulate the oppositions’ concerns in a neutral way, and find areas of consensus. Funding for small class sizes should be a budget priority. This is the number one tool for achieving academic success across the board. With an aging population and federal tax law changes, the county is expected to encounter revenue challenges. The county should adopt the recommendations of the 2019 Spending Affordability Report in regard to transfer tax and recovery of public service overtime. Preserve Howard County’s open spaces and high quality of life by syncing infrastructure improvements with new housing developments.

BOARD OF EDUCATION

VICKY CUTRONEO: I am a former pediatric nurse and pharmaceutical clinical research monitor. Education advocacy has provided me with an understanding of current fiscal challenges, inequity of facilities, impacts of large class sizes, special education, APFO, redistricting, school climate and the impacts of poverty on many of our schools. I currently serve as PTA Council President. I enjoy established working relationships with HCPSS and HCEA leadership, and have worked with elected officials at state and local levels on education related legislation.

Budget: Develop a 3 to 5-year Strategic Plan that lays out HCPSS’s direction and goals, with clearly defined performance measures. Explore alternative financing methods to generate funding for capital projects. Using a public-private partnership, leverage private investment with public funds for building design, construction, operation and maintenance.

Equity: High average scores and graduation rates mask variations across students and groups that are falling behind. Interventions include elimination of early tracking, decreasing class size in K-3, more creative recruitment and retention of minority teachers, transparency of suspension data by school.

School Climate: We need more social workers and behavior analysts, especially in Title 1 schools and schools with high suspension rates. I will continue to advocate towards our school system becoming a restorative one.

ROBERT GLASCOCK: I have 32 year’s experience as a Howard County educator including ten years as a social studies teacher, Coordinator of G/T Programs, Director of Elementary Curricular Programs, Director of K-12 Curricular Programs, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction, and Technology and six years as an Executor Director at the Maryland State Department of Education. My leadership style is guided by the following principles: Children come first, always. Invest in people. When challenges arise, engage and listen. Excel in the present, but plan for the future. Communicate the “why”: people may not always agree with the decision, but they are more likely to accept it if they understand it. The most important priorities are restoring the public confidence in the school system, developing responsible budgets that support student learning, promoting safe, nurturing, student-centered schools, and focusing on equity in education based upon fairness, inclusion, and access. To move forward, we must engage the community around three questions: What do we want for our children? How will we provide it?  How will we know we did it well?

DANNY MACKEY: I spent 13 years as a student in Howard County Public Schools, graduated from Wilde Lake High School in 2012, and am the only candidate with recent experience as an HCPSS student. This uniquely qualifies me to make student-centered decisions. I am involved in education advocacy motivated by my desire to see opportunities for success offered to all students. I have regularly testified at the Board of Education and worked with stakeholders from across the county to facilitate change. I was vocal in opposing a systematic dismantling of trust between the HCPSS and the community. These experiences give me institutional knowledge and prepare me to be an effective member of the Board of Education acting immediately to tackle the problems facing our schools. Our campaign’s top three priorities are: 1) Shaping policy to foster a safe learning environment that fosters positive mental health for students and staff, including our special education community. 2) Promoting equity system-wide to address the achievement gap pervading the system and offering increased vocational programming. 3) Establishing and repairing relationships between the BOE and the community by involving stakeholders to address financial crises responsibly, craft policy that promotes accountability, and prevent repetition of past mistakes.

JEN MALLO: The Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) is a critical piece of the strong foundation that brings families and businesses to our county. My goal as a member of the Board will be to ensure that HCPSS provides a high caliber education to students throughout all corners of the county, with a focus on equity, transparency, and sound fiscal management for which our community can be proud. I moved to Howard County nearly 30 years ago to begin my career as an Intelligence Analyst for the Department of Defense, where I used my education in economics and international affairs to research and address complex topics. My husband and I have raised our 3 children in Howard County, and I have used my time to volunteer extensively within HCPSS at both the school and county level. Through my work as chairman of the HCPSS Community Advisory Council, I have been directly involved in evaluating HCPSS policy, operations, and budgeting – and I have testified regularly to the Board on these topics to represent community input.  With my extensive volunteer work in the schools, I have worked collaboratively with diverse groups of parents, teachers, and administrators to build consensus, solve problems, and deliver services.  Each of these skills gives me the background and ability to be ready and experienced to start on day one.

ROBERT MILLER: I retired in 2015 after 34 years of teaching in our school system. My daughter and son attended HCPSS schools K-12. I have a BS in Psychology and a BS and M.Ed. in Music Education from College Park. I was an adjunct professor at HCC, directed summer band camps, and the Columbia Concert Band and Columbia Big Band (adult community bands). Since I retired, I have been following our Board of Education and related issues with the hope of becoming a member of the Board. I have observed most Operating Budget Review Committee meetings for two years and was a member of the Community Advisory Council last year. I am endorsed by the Howard County Education Association (HCEA). I would provide the perspective of a recent HCPSS teacher and parent to the Board. I hope to help reduce our deficit while otherwise producing a balanced budget, yet improving outcomes by increasing instructional time. Reducing time spent on excessive standardized testing of students and on a poorly-conceived teacher evaluation process, while streamlining “administrivia,” could increase time teachers spend providing individual assistance to struggling students, collaborating with parents, etc. Prioritization of hierarchical skills mastery; development of organization skills, integrity, responsibility, and kindness; while pursuing equity, inclusiveness, and an appreciation of diversity; should help students thrive. We must also responsibly address overcrowding and provide healthy environments, physically and mentally. Properly supporting special education students is vital. Cultivating an honest, respectful, partner-like atmosphere with all stakeholders would be a priority.

ANITA PANDEY: You should vote for Dr. Anita Pandey because she is a seasoned educator with over 28 years of classroom and administrative experience, and she is the only full-time teacher running. Her children attend HCPSS, so she is an informed and invested parent. Her children’s schooling experiences, as well as her training, specialty, and advocacy in P-12 education, as well as her professional development offerings on cultural competency, reading strategies, and family engagement; and her participation on local, national and international organizations, panels, and Boards have prepared her to artfully execute BOE duties. Dr. Pandey is a respected author and scholar who will fight for “struggling readers,” special needs, ESL, and low-income students and families; multiple career pathways, quality early childhood education, competitive educator pay, reduced testing and, last but not the least, cultural inclusion. She has been teaching at Morgan State University since 2001. She provided testimony for the passage of the Seal of Biliteracy in MD, and has testified on other bills. She helped form the HC African American History Project (part of our Historical Society), and was one of three panelists invited to speak at the U.S. House of Representatives on our P-12 policy. She attended schools in four countries, holds two MA degrees, and has taught at six universities since she earned her doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. With her team spirit and her track record of mentorship, project management, and writing winning proposals, she has the insight and ingenuity to balance our budget.

SABINA TAJ: For more than a decade, I’ve worked in education identifying and supporting innovative educational initiatives nationwide. At the national and state level our public education is under attack, and we are falling short at the county level as well. I will fight for public education by advocating for adequate funding and:

Prioritizing educators – the school system must do more to keep educators educating and to find ways to build the educator pipeline. Reducing educator benefits may reduce budget outlays in the short term but will cost the county in the long run as the national shortage worsens. Educators deserve an income that lets them live in Howard County and relevant, high quality professional development that they help to craft.

Community representation – the decisions the board takes must reflect the county’s community voices. Though the board now seeks input through various mechanisms, I will encourage the Board to more proactively reach out to those whose voices too often go unheard.

Educational equity– The school system has made progress in reducing the achievement gap but work remains. This gap leads to higher dropout rates, lower post-education wages, increased poverty, un-/under-employment, and social/emotional risks. A number of proven, data-driven interventions will help break this cycle, but we first need better data and a better way to understand and share it with the public. 

CHAO WU: Coming from a low-income family, Chao was fortunate to be educated in China, Singapore and USA. All three educational systems are built on the belief that education is the bridge to success, a belief that Chao has embraced wholeheartedly in his personal and professional life. This belief has given him a strong sense of commitment to public education and the ability to see how valuable education is to HCPSS. Chao is an active community volunteer in HCPSS. He served on BOE Operating Budget Review Committee (OBRC), testified in front of the BOE on multiple issues, including improving foreign language education, advocating for a later high school start time, improving the redistricting process, enhancing accountability and transparency. He even testified in front of the County Council and asked for tightening the Adequate Public Facility Ordnance (APFO) because of the school overcrowding issue. Chao has been elected twice as Board Member of the River Hill Village Association and the Columbia Association since 2015. Chao also serves on the County Executive’s OneHoward steering committee. He values both the diversity of our community and inclusion of all ideas that the committee promotes. Chao is a data scientist, providing analytic solutions based on machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms. Chao wants to bring accountability and transparency back. He wants to provide equitable learning opportunities and offer students more vocational/technology training. He like to motivate students to learn and to succeed through hard work. A Vote for Wu is A Vote for you.

STATE’S ATTORNEY

KIM YON OLDHAM (R): Howard County voters should vote for me because I am the most qualified to execute the duties in the Office of the State’s Attorney. My opponent has no experience as a prosecutor in Howard County. I have over 21 years of experience here and it has defined my career. My opponent wants voters to elect him into office because of his party affiliation, because he is the “Democratic Candidate for Howard County State’s Attorney.” I want voters to elect me into office because I will work the hardest for public safety and victims of crime. It’s what I have already been doing the past two decades in this community. My testimonials are from supporters who know first-hand my passion and dedication to this job, not political insiders. They know my strong working relationships with our public safety agencies and my commitment to seeing the best possible outcome in my handling of a case. Most importantly, they are Democrats, Republicans and Independents who want to see the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office remain apolitical in its approach to public safety. For years we have been an office with the utmost respect and reputation in the legal community and the law enforcement community. I’d like to see it remain that way.

RICH GIBSON (D): My name is Rich Gibson, I am the Democratic Nominee for Howard County State’s Attorney. I have been a prosecutor for fourteen years in various jurisdictions throughout the State. During that time, I have prosecuted virtually every kind of criminal case including: traffic violations, sex offense cases, homicides, human trafficking cases, State gang cases, and I have spearheaded large-scale community initiatives. Additionally, I have been the chief prosecutor for the Juvenile Drug Court and I currently supervise a team of attorneys tasked with pro-actively targeting and prosecuting violent repeat offenders. Moreover, I have been very involved in the Howard County Community as the Past President of the Waring Mitchell Law Society, a Board Member for Voices for Children, President of Beechwood Overlook Neighborhood Association, Appointed member to the Howard County Democratic Central Committee, Past Board Member of the Columbia Democratic Club, and a Member of the James MacGill Inns of Court. My professional experience, personal experience, and commitment to public service makes me uniquely qualified for the position of State’s Attorney. If you want to find out more information about my candidacy and my plans to address criminal issues impacting Howard County then please visit www.richgibson.net.

CLERK OF THE CIRCUIT COURT 

MARLENA JAREAUX (R): Why vote for the outsider, Marlena Jareaux for Clerk of the Circuit Court for Howard? No, I didn’t work for the clerk, and neither did our prior clerk Margaret Rappaport. Like me, she heard about and observed problems with the then-Clerk, and ran on a platform that something different needed to be done. When someone doesn’t know that they didn’t give the required oath to a public official, refuses to divulge his office’s $3 million budget, and testifies to needing resources for a 6th judge that isn’t approved or coming, you realize that “clerk experience” isn’t what’s most important. Attention to detail, being unafraid to stand up and say that something is not right, and fighting to make what is wrong, right…IS. It’s important that court records, mortgages, deeds, etc. are RIGHT for citizens. The processes need to be correct also. A vote for Marlena Jareaux is the better choice for Clerk.

WAYNE ROBEY (D) (Incumbent): I have been with the Clerk’s Office for 32 years; the last 3 years have been as the elected Clerk. I have worked in all aspects of the office and understand the work of all departments. I am the past president of the Maryland Court Clerks Association and past Chair of the Conference of Circuit Court Clerks.  This year I will graduate from the 4 year Institute for Court Management Program offered by the National Center for State Courts. I believe my experience makes me the best candidate for the Clerk of Court position. Access to the courts is the most important priority the Clerk’s Office faces.  Many citizens are unable to afford attorneys and thus they come to the Clerk’s Office seeking help. A well-trained staff who are knowledgeable can refer them to resources and information that can help them navigate the Court system. I will strive to keep the staff trained and responsive to the public’s needs.

REGISTER OF WILLS

SHAWN CONLEY (R): With an advanced degree in the Sciences, and an active duty Firefighter/EMT with well over 15 years of service to the community, I have spent most of my professional career working under strict Federal, State, and Ethical Guidelines. Among other projects, I have taken on the responsibility of starting and managing a complex patient sample testing facility. I understand the paperwork alone for such an undertaking may seem overwhelming to some, much the same as having to settle an estate. Even so, I was comfortable not only working in a heavily regulated environment where mistakes can have devastating effects on individuals, but hiring staff and explaining the process necessary to assure compliance. I am confident, as a Register of Wills, my compassion and understanding of the system will benefit anyone needing the services of the office. I feel very strongly that the people of Howard County deserve a true public servant who can provide compassion and guidance when they need it. I understand that sometimes service requires a different kind of commitment that can’t be described as part of a job.

BYRON MACFARLANE (D) (Incumbent): I grew up in Howard County, graduated from Glenelg High School, and received degrees from the University of Maryland, College Park and University of Baltimore School of Law. I’ve had the privilege to serve as Register of Wills for Howard County since 2010. During my tenure I’ve been recognized as a trusted and effective manager, an innovative reformer, and a visible and accessible presence in the community. My top priority has been to provide professional, efficient, and compassionate service to the people of Howard County. I’ve built an office where each person who calls us or walks through our door speaks with an experienced staff member immediately and where everyone we help is treated with dignity and respect. The most important priority for this office is providing outstanding service to Howard County families. I’ve built an office that has earned a reputation as a user-friendly, flexible, and knowledgeable resource after the death of a loved one. It is a model for how local government should work. Following the election, I want to continue to apply my proven, effective leadership and management to keep the Register’s office functioning as smoothly and efficiently as the people of Howard County deserve.

JUDGE OF THE ORPHANS COURT

Anne Dodd (D) (Incumbent): I am currently serving in my eighth year as an Orphans’ Court Judge and my fourth year as Chief Judge. Since my appointment as Chief Judge, not one of the thousands of orders signed has been overturned on appeal. The Orphans’ Court is a Probate Court. Judges resolve disputes over wills and estates and generally oversee the probate process in Howard County. I have completed more than 100 hours of judicial education at the Maryland Judicial College, in the specific area of probate law; and while judicial education is essential, my background as chair of the Howard County Board of Education and as Kings Contrivance Village Manager coached me in the successful problem solving and leadership skills that only experience can hone. Twice, I was elected by my peers to the chairmanship of the Maryland Conference of Orphans’ Court Judges, the statewide Orphans’ Court Advisory Committee to which I was selected to participate by the Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals. My tenure provided me with statewide as well as locally applicable insights. When I found specific Maryland Rules that were misleading, I didn’t hesitate to recommend changes to the Court of Appeals that resulted in changes to the Annotated Code of Maryland. I enjoy helping families through the probate process as well as the intellectual pursuit of researching appropriate statutes, rules and case law. I am grateful for the support I have received and look forward to continuing serving as Judge of the Howard County Orphans’ Court.

Elizabeth Ann Fitch (D): I am the only candidate who has studied trusts & estates, business, and tax law. I have worked for the Orphans’ Court for Howard County and the Court of Appeals for Maryland. I have also worked on estate litigation cases for one of the region’s most premier law firms. My personal, professional, and academic experiences are unmatched. My overarching goals are to improve the probate process and better serve the community. First, I will ensure that decisions are consistent and grounded in the law. Second, I will create transparency by explaining decisions and holding an annual state of the Orphans’ Court meeting. The meeting will be open to residents and attorneys to discuss issues that face the court and the community. Third, I will create mediation and pro bono programs.  Everyone who comes before the court should have competent legal representation, and parties that are suited for mediation should have the opportunity to settle their disputes privately and amicably. Finally, I will provide free educational workshops to the community regarding the benefits and limitations of estate planning.

Leslie Smith Turner (D) (Incumbent): No response.

SHERIFF

BILL MCMAHON (R) (Incumbent): I served as the Howard County Police Chief from 2006-2014, capping off a 28-year career with the HCPD. I led the implementation of programs that garnered historic reductions in crime and traffic-related fatalities; improved our outreach to our most vulnerable citizens, including seniors, victims of domestic violence, those with mental health issues and those new to the county; and enhanced our youth-related programs. I addition, I spearheaded the response to the tragic Columbia Mall shooting in 2014, for which the department received national and international praise. I was appointed to the Office of Sheriff in 2016 after the prior Sheriff retired in the wake of a Human Rights Commission investigation into his behavior. Since then, I have been working to restore the community’s trust in the office and to ensure that our staff has the leadership, policy, training and equipment expected of a professional law enforcement agency. We are continuously working with the community to provide education about the role of the office and to resolve issues as they arise. In addition, my professional executive-level perspective as Sheriff will be critical as we strategically plan our move to the new courthouse. The security of those visiting the Courthouse and the care and control of incarcerated defendants are critical. I have been a resident of Howard County for more than 30 years and have been active in our community, supporting local nonprofits to include the Domestic Violence Center, Special Olympics Torch Run and Polar Bear Plunge, Grassroots and coaching youth sports.

MARCUS HARRIS (D): No response.