Craig begins record 10th year as Harford county executive

David R. Craig marked the start of his 10th year as Harford County executive on Tuesday, adding to his record length of service in Harford's top elected post.

On July 8, 2005, Craig held his first cabinet meeting in the morning of his first full day leading the county where he has lived his entire life.

Craig was sworn in on July 7, 2005 to complete the remaining 17 months in the term of predecessor James Harkins, who was appointed Director of Maryland Environmental Services by then-Gov. Robert Ehrlich. Craig was elected to continue as county executive in 2006 and re-elected in 2010.

Last July, he became the longest-serving executive in Harford County history, surpassing the eight-year terms of Habern Freeman (1982-1990) and Eileen Rehrmann (1990-1998).

The Harford County charter limits county executives to two consecutive four-year terms, and Craig's time as county executive comes to an end on Dec. 1.

A retired history teacher and high school assistant principal, Craig has twice served as mayor of Havre de Grace. He also served six years on the Havre de Grace City Council and single terms each in the Maryland House of Delegates and Maryland State Senate.

"Over these nine years my administration has worked hard to improve the quality of life for our citizens and to operate county government with efficiency, accountability and integrity," Craig said in a statement.

"We have built and renovated numerous schools, provided additional parks and recreation facilities, permanently preserved thousands of acres of farmland and improved public safety and emergency services; all while lowering tax rates and achieving the county's first AAA bond rating with all three rating agencies," he continued.

"In 2012, I laid out my administration's final two-year priorities, and I am proud to report that for the most part we have completed these initiatives," the statement concluded. "Over the next five months I will continue the work that the citizens have elected me to do, and our team will work to allow for a smooth transition into the next administration to ensure continuity in the services that we provide to our citizens."

Craig, a Republican, was an unsuccessful candidate for his party's nomination for governor in the June 24 primary election, finishing second to Prince George's County businessman Larry Hogan.

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