State Sen. Robert “Bob” Cassilly said he plans to run in the 2022 Republican primary for Harford County executive, becoming the second Republican candidate this month to declare his intentions to run for that office.
“This is a job I’ve wanted to do for many years. I love my county, and I very much want to do everything I can to see this county succeed,” Cassilly said Tuesday afternoon, shortly after filing paperwork with the county’s Board of Elections.
Billy Boniface, chief adviser to current County Executive Barry Glassman, formally filed to run for county executive earlier this month. No other candidates have officially announced their intention to run for the office.
Glassman is in the midst of his second term and cannot run for a third time. He announced on April 15 plans to run for state comptroller, an office a Republican has not held since 1900.
Cassilly and his family have been involved in Harford County politics for decades. His older brother, Joseph Cassilly, served as Harford County State’s Attorney for 36 years until his retirement in 2019. A younger brother, Andrew Cassilly has been Gov. Larry Hogan’s chief adviser since December 2019, tabbed for the job in the midst of his second term in the House of Delegates.
Bob Cassilly got his start as a member and later chairman of the Harford County Republican Central Committee in the 1990s and was elected to the Bel Air Board of Town Commissioners in 1997. He served the town, including a stint as mayor, until he won a seat on the Harford County Council in 2002 representing District C.
In 2006, Cassilly was deployed to Iraq as a member of the Army Reserves.
He returned to politics in 2014, winning the District 34 seat in the Maryland Senate after it was vacated by Nancy Jacobs. He was re-elected to that seat in 2018.
In a statement announcing his candidacy for county executive, Cassilly described himself as a “vigilant anti-crime leader with with fiscally conservative views who supports lower taxes and less wasteful government spending,” and as an advocate for Second Amendment rights.
“While I have enjoyed representing Harford County in the Maryland State Senate for the past seven years, I know that we need strong leadership right here at home for our families, communities, and businesses,” Cassilly said in the statement. “My proven record of experience and leadership combined with my strong conservative views makes me the right person to help advance Harford County while maintaining the traditional values and rural character of our county’s heritage.”
“From working to make our streets safer, to protecting the interests of seniors and children, to voting against tax increases, to bringing state funds to improve Harford communities, I am the only candidate with experience advocating and leading for our residents at the municipal, county, and state levels,” he added.
According to campaign finance records, Cassilly’s campaign had about $98,487 in the bank as of January.
Cassilly, an attorney, was born in Havre de Grace, and graduated from Bel Air High School, the Johns Hopkins University and later the University of Baltimore School of Law. He served in the Maryland Army National Guard; the U.S. Army, 7th Infantry Division; and the U.S. Army Reserves and received a Bronze Star and other awards for his service in Iraq, doing three one-year tours. He maintains a law firm in Bel Air.
He and his wife Debbie live in a historic house in downtown Bel Air. He has five adult children and six grandchildren.
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Candidates for the 2022 gubernatorial election were eligible to file starting Feb. 23; the last day to file for any office will be Feb. 22, 2022. The Democratic and Republican primaries are scheduled for June 28, 2022, and the general election will be Nov. 8, 2022.