Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

Howard County Races Shaping Up

Posted by David Keelan on Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Governor: In the Democratic primary the candidates will be Baltimore’s Mayor, Martin O’Malley, and Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan. O’Malley deserves credit for taking on the tough job of running Baltimore City. The problem is that he has been whining about it and blaming others ever since. We will see a bloody Democratic primary. Doug Duncan will have a field day with O’Malley and soften him up for Ehrlich if O’Malley wins the primary. O’Malley’s has unnecessarily alienated the two most prolific fundraisers in his party (Angelos and Schaefer). This should hurt O’Malley in a primary in that Duncan has never had more than $1 million in his campaign account and Duncan needs help raising money and O’Malley pushed Angelos and Schaefer into Duncan’s corner. Governor Ehrlich will run with all the advantages of an incumbent. He is a good fundraiser, his poll ratings are good. Although Michael Steele won’t be his running mate they will still be on the same ballot.

The Democrats want Government House back and they are going to pull out all of the stops. Any doubts, then read a quote from Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., a Democrat who represents Prince George's and Calvert counties.

"GOP leaders 'are going to be flying high, but we're going to get together and
we're going to shoot them down. We're going to bury them face down in the
ground, and it'll be 10 years before they crawl out again,'?"

Senate: Sandy Schrader will be defending her seat, and Allan Kittleman will be defending his father’s seat to win his own full four-year term. Jim Robey is moving to Sandy Schrader’s district to challenge her for her current seat. He knows that he can’t beat Allan Kittleman, mostly because of the large part of Carroll County that Allan represents won’t elect Robey.

House of Delegates: Democrats dominate Howard County’s delegation at a ratio of 6:2. This could change based on the outcome of the District 13 race. A Democratic loss of 2 seats would make the ratio 4:4, so the Senate District 13 race could decide if the GOP will get a clear majority in the delegation. I think the Republican State party is going to be spending a lot of time in District 13.

District 9A: Gail Bates and Warren Miller will run for four-year terms. It appears as though they may have a third candidate for this race setting up a Republican primary.

District 12A: Split between Baltimore and Howard Counties the current representatives are Steven J. DeBoy, Sr. (D) and James E. Malone, Jr. (D) reports that potential GOP candidates are: Don Murphy (politician), former two-term Delegate, lobbyist for a union and nudist organization and Joe Hooe, 2002 Republican nominee; Johns Hopkins graduate, Lansdowne firefighter, small businessman and Maryland State Inspector.

District 12B: Currently held by Elizabeth Bobo (D). No GOP candidates have emerged.

District 13: Currently held by Shane E. Pendergrass (D), Neil F. Quinter (D), and Frank S. Turner (D). What is interesting about this race is that Quinter declared his intent to seek Ben Cardin’s congressional seat. Then he changed his mind. Problem is that Guy Guzzone (D) at the time declared he would join the Pendergrass/Turner slate thereby freezing out Quinter.

Republicans on this ticket will be Mary Beth Tung, Lorettta Gaffney, and Rick Bowers

This race will be the most competitive in Howard County. Although the district leans Democratic, the Democrats will have a difficult time keeping all three seats. Republican Mary Beth Tung, as a first time candidate in 2002, was the top vote getter in the Primary (out of 6), eventually losing the general election by only 2000 votes, less than 2%. (from Wikipedia)

County Executive: Well the field seems is set for a General Election match up between Chris Merdon, and Ken Ulman. It remains to be seen if the Democrats will have a real primary even though Harry Dunbar has declared that he is running.

I admit my bias; I think Merdon has the best chance to win as County Executive. Consider that in the 2002 general election for all Council districts 53% of the vote went Republican, yet Jim Robey got 58% of the vote for the County Executive race –only a slight increase in the previous race. This was primarily due to the fact that Robey ran as an incumbent and he hadn’t raised income taxes yet. This could translate in to a win for Merdon who has great name recognition and is considered a moderate by most of the County. Although Ulman won by a wide margin in his district, he ran for an open seat in a heavily democratic district, but a lot of people are turned off by how he managed his campaign and the tactics he employed against Sigaty in the primary and Lorsung (R) in the general.

With a strong candidate and very hard working campaigner like Merdon, and Councilmatic voting trends in 2002 as a whole, indications are he is in good shape to win this one.

County Council

District 1: Tony Salazar is the only declared Republican candidate and Courtney Watson is the only declared Democratic candidate. See my previous post on this topic.

District 2: No Republicans have emerged to challenge first term Councilman David Rakes who won in 2002 with 60% of the vote. Patrick Black is the yet to officially declare himself the GOP candidate. Councilman David Rakes still hasn’t made his intentions clear although his Democratic “friends” have. I expect that Calvin Ball will get the Democrat nod in the primary.

District 3: Donna Thewes of North Laural has declared her intent to run for the seat that is being vacated by Councilman Guy Guzzone who is running for the House of Delegates in District 13. Running for an open seat in this district will give the GOP a shot at winning control of the council. Thewes will have her hands full campaigning hard in this district. Even though Guzzone won 66% of the vote Thewes doesn’t have to worry about the incumbent factor. Thewes does have to worry about Jennifer Terrasa, Democrat, who has raised $8,350 and has $6,118 in cash on hand. Thewes has a fundraising advantage over Terrasa and over $3,000 more in cash – she will need it.

District 4: Ken Ulman won his council seat by 58.5% of the vote in 2002. Given the manner in which he ran his primary and general election campaigns I expect a repeat performance in the general election for County Executive.

Tom D’Asto is the declared GOP candidate with $970 in cash.

Mary Kay Sigaty is the declared Democratic Candidate with $764 in cash. Given her long tenure in Howard County politics she has very good name recognition in the district. Also, Sigaty is a current member of the Board of Education. She will cut her term short on the Board of Education if she wins this seat. This will be a campaign issue that D’Asto will rightfully exploit.

Update 10:50 PM – Just informed by Hayduke and another source that Josh Feldmark of Wild Lake in Columbia declared his intent to run for this open seat. Some people seem to think that he stands a very good chance at winning it all.

District 5: The Howard County Republican Central Committee appointed Charlie Feaga to fill the unexpired term of Allan Kittleman when Allan was appointed to serve the remainder of his late father’s term in the State Senate. This district went Republican by 72% in 2002. Greg Fox is the declared GOP candidate. He got a very early start on his campaign. He is as hard working as Kittleman and Merdon. He raised $16,000 and still has over $9,300 in cash. Donald Dunn may be the Democrat sacrificial lamb in this race. The Democrats need a hard working credible candidate in this race if only to tie up Fox’s money.

2 Responses to “Howard County Races Shaping Up”

  1. Hayduke said

    Also running as a Democrat in District 4 is Josh Feldmark, currently the Wilde Lake representative on the Columbia Council; I believe he’s announcing his candidacy, well, right about now (Tuesday night).

    I see you’re sprucing the place up a bit (new links and photo). Looking good. I guess that means you’re here to stay.

  2. hocoblog said

    Definately here to stay. Things got crazy at work and at home for awhile. They have calmed down a bit before they get crazy again.

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