The Howard County Education Association announced today that it will endorse Democrats Dan Medinger and Tom Coale in District 9.

HCEA President Paul Lemle called both candidates "outspoken advocates for public education."

“Dan Medinger shared with us his commitment to public education, and specifically his belief in the need to elevate the status of teachers”, Lemle said of Medinger, who is running for the state Senate.

Medinger, an Ellicott City businessman who owns communications company Advertising Media Plus, faces a primary race against Democrat Ryan Frederic, the owner of Columbia-based aerospace security and research firm Applied Defense Solutions. 

He called Howard County teachers "heroes in our community.

"Our educators and support professionals deserve special recognition for their commitment to our children and for making our county a great place to live," Medinger said in a statement. "Our schools are a community treasure and those who staff them have earned our support and respect.  Day in and day out, our educators’ commitment to our children provides immeasurable benefits to the quality of life in our county.  I am proud that the Howard County Education Association is behind my campaign for the State Senate.  I will do all that I can to ensure that our children receive a quality education as they prepare for their future."

Coale is an attorney, former Dorsey's Search Columbia Association board member and local blogger running for a House seat in District 9B. He faces a primary against longtime Howard County public schools math and computer science teacher Rich Corkran.

The HCEA highlighted Coale's CA Board experience and service on the Board of Trustees for the Community Foundation of Howard County as reasons for the endorsement.

“This is a special honor for me as a life-long Howard County resident and product of Howard County Public Schools," Coale said of the endorsement. " I’m determined to continue to learn from our teachers as a legislator and be their voice in Annapolis.  Together, we will make sure education policy is crafted in partnership with those in the classroom and not imposed from above, pensions are safeguarded from plunder, and Howard County students continue to receive a world class education."

Both candidates will be included on the association's "Apple Ballot." The HCEA represents more than 5,300 educators in Howard County.