Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

County Council District 4

Posted by David Keelan on Thursday, January 26, 2006

Josh Feldmark, who recently declared his campaign for this open seat, is the current chairman of the Columbia Council. Mr. Feldmark lives in the same precinct as Mary Kay Sigaty, and was elected to the Columbia Council while Ms. Sigaty lost in a Columbia Council race.

It is conceivable that Mr. Feldmark and Ms. Sigaty will split the base they both share in the Logfellow area of Columbia. However, based on what I learned this is Mr. Feldmark's race to lose.

Not to say that Ms. Sigaty is not a credible candidate. I have met her. I don't agree with her on some issues – but she is as sincere and dedicated to public service as are the other candidates (Mr. Feldmark and the GOP candidate Tom D'Asto).

Mr. Ulman's success in the 2002 election was, in large part, due to River Hill, which was still upset with Ms. Sigaty's participation in the school redistricting committee decision to move River Hill High Scool children to Atholton only a few months earlier before the election. For those voters it was pay back time. Voters have short memories, and they probably are comfortable with the redistricting at this point (it has been four years).

Mr. Ulman is likely to back Feldmark since Mr. Feldmark’s wife is Mr. Ulman's special assistant on the Council.

Guy Guzzone will likely support Mr. Feldmark. If you inspect Mr. Guzzone's campaign expenses you will notice in Mr. Guzzone’s finance report that he paid Mr. Feldmark for campaign management before Mr. Guzzone bowed out of the County Executive race.

Mr. Ulman now lives in River Hill and is firmly establish there. As such he may be able to rally much support for Feldmark from River Hill. Among the highest voting precincts in the county in 2002 were Longfellow and one of the precincts in River Hill.

Point is that Mr. Feldmark has strong Democratic support in a strong Democratic district.

To add to Ms. Sigaty's problems is the preception of holding a BofE seat that she would have to vacate if she won a council seat (after serving only 1 year of a 4 year term). The result would be an added burden that the rest of the BofE would have to deal with a very heavy work load without her. How long would it take for a new County Executive to appoint a replacement? Do you think the BofE (which is dominated by Democrats) is going to support her run? Perhaps she should give up the seat now so a that a new member can get acclimated. Remember, the board is going to turn over 5 members this year.

Joan Lancos, Ulman's GOP opponent in 2002, is reportedly helping with Ms. Sigaty's campaign. I suspect that they are both still resentful of Mr. Ulman's campaign tactics in 2002. Perhaps they have other mutual interests, but I wouldn't be aware of them. I wonder if Ms. Sigaty will throw her support behind any County Executive Candidate. Support Merdon and risk alienating the Democrats in her district, and the same treatment that David Rakes is geeting, or swallow hard and support Ulman given the facts mentioned above. A coup for Chris Merdon if Ms. Sigaty supports him in the General Election and not to be considered outside the realm of possibilities.

None of this bodes well for Tom D'Asto, the current GOP candidate on the surface.

However, think about this. If Mr. Feldmark is the man to beat in the Primary, and he has support from Messrs. Ulman and Guzzone it is almost a lock for Mr. Feldmark. If Mr. Feldmark wins the Primary then Mr. D'Asto needs to get Lancos/Sigaty support in the General Election in order to expand his base. If D'Asto can pull that off then why wouldn't Ms. Sigaty go ahead and endorse a Republican for County Executive. Merdon is a moderate and Sigaty is an independant and both are willing to compromise for the right reasons. I don't know her well enough to know if she would be willing to cross party lines to support D'Asto or Merdon, but the fact Joan Lancos crossed party lines to support her perhaps Ms. Sigaty is of like mind.

It would also help if Mr. Ulman stumbles in his campaign for County Executive.

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One Response to “County Council District 4”

  1. […] Anyway, this goes to a post I put out on January 26th saying that Ulman's ugly campaign for County Council in 2002 was going to haunt him.  This will lightly (if at all) taint Josh Felmark.  I am sure that Mary Kay Sigaty and Joan Lancos were not shedding any tears when they saw this either. […]

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