The title seems fitting, in light of the number of individuals who filed to run for public office in Howard County in the 2018 election cycle but, for one reason or another, withdrew. Reviewing the candidate lists, the differences between HoCo and MoCo again leap to the fore.
Barring significant shakeups and with a handful of notable exceptions, most of the action will occur in the General Election with the County Executive and First County Council District races head-lining the local contests. As of this writing, the only question in the Democratic CE primary is: can Harry Dunbar top his 21.5% showing from 2006 when he ran against Ken Ulman for the D Nomination? On paper and in the present environment, someone running on an anti-incumbent, “slow growth” platform could pull 30% - 35% of the vote in the Democratic primary but the current author does not believe Dunbar is the ideal vehicle for anti-development sentiments. In a head-to-head, it is challenging to envision Dr. Ball securing less than 75% against Dunbar.
The Third County Council District is interesting as four top-flight Democratic candidates are in the field. One made an unfortunate college choice, and another still reads more Annapolis than anything else, but I am nit-picking. This will be the local race to watch on Primary Election Night, with a winner likely to emerge with around 35% of the vote, none of the four should finish with under 15%.
My home County Council district, the Fourth, is again the scene of a contested primary. Alphabetically, the legitimate Democratic candidates are Cynthia Fikes and Deb Jung. There is someone named Ian Bradley Moller-Knudsen who filed but this person may not exist in any recognizable dimension. I will, most likely, write about my choice on or around March 1. It is imperative for these candidates to focus on salient issues: most notably Education and Quality of Life (insofar as the two are distinct). Yes, the former is a given and the latter encompasses many facets (infrastructure, environment, jobs, safety, social justice, etc…). The candidate who wins will have a narrative that best reflects and addresses these concerns and will offer up reflective, practical, progressive, and accessible solutions.
Turning to the state legislative campaigns:
I will write about District 9 later. In the meantime, there is no Primary action in D12 (somewhat disappointingly) and while there is much that could be said about D13, the only item of immediate interest is the emergence of someone who reads like a perennial candidate.
So there is the wisdom – conventional or otherwise – as I see it. I will close the blog for 2017 with some words from Robert Burns:
“Then let us pray that come it may,
(As come it will for a' that,)
That Sense and Worth, o'er a' the earth,
Shall bear the gree, an' a' that.
For a' that, an' a' that,
It's coming yet for a' that,
That Man to Man, the world o'er,
Shall brothers be for a' that.”