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The Aegis
Harford County

Harford politicians face off in Tuesday’s primary

The 2022 midterm primary election features two Harford County Republicans in a faceoff for the county’s top office.

State Sen. Bob Cassilly is facing off against Billy Boniface, chief adviser to the current county executive, Barry Glassman.

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In the 2018 midterm elections, Republicans swept all the key positions in the county, so it’s likely that many of the winners of Tuesday’s Republican primaries will win the general election as well. Republican voters outnumber Democrats in the county, which went heavily for Donald Trump over Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.

Before being elected to the state legislature in 2014, Cassilly served on the Harford County Republican Central Committee and was elected to the Bel Air Board of Town Commissioners. He briefly was mayor of the town, before winning the District C seat on the Harford County Council in 2002. He was deployed to Iraq with the Army Reserves in 2006.

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Boniface started as Glassman’s chief adviser in July 2020, and previously served as his director of administration beginning in 2014. He also has served on the County Council, first running in 2006 and serving twice as council president.

As Glassman finishes up his second term as county executive — the county executive is limited to two, four-year terms — he’s campaigning for state comptroller. He’s the only Republican running and will face off against the winner of the Democratic primary. That race features Del. Brooke Lierman and Bowie Mayor Tim Adams.

One of the most important issues facing Harford County is development, with citizen-based coalitions forming to resist proposed developments in areas such as Abingdon and Perryman. The 3P Protecting Perryman Peninsula coalition endorsed Cassilly for county executive after a series of interviews and a town hall meeting involving candidates for several county positions. A coalition leader said Boniface declined an interview request from the group.

“People really need to look at what zoning is on the properties in the area where they move to,” Boniface said. “It might change, and you have to recognize that, and I think we need to do a good job during the next rezoning process of making sure people understand what the current zoning is and what any proposed zoning changes are and try to involve the community as much as possible.”

Cassilly said he would face development issues by operating the county government with transparency and honesty.

“I just keep hearing from folks throughout the county that they just quit believing,” Cassilly said, “because they feel like they’ve been misled, that they’re not getting the facts, that ... over the years [they] are told one thing and something else happens.

“They feel as though zoning and land use decisions are made by and for the benefit of a small group of insiders rather than for the citizens of Harford County. And that’s the challenge we face.”

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The winner of the Republican county executive race will face off against Democrat Blane H. Miller III. Miller is a former member of the Harford Republican Central Committee and previously ran for County Council as a Republican.

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According to campaign finance documents, Boniface’s campaign account had a balance of nearly $130,000, while Cassilly’s had just over $113,000, as of July 3. Miller’s campaign reported an account balance of $9.88.

Harford County Council President Patrick Vincenti is seeking a third term on the council and second as president. He’s facing off against Rick Grambo in the Republican primary for council president.

Vincenti has said he feels “very confident” and if elected, would continue the search for a new permanent health officer and re-evaluate the county zoning code.

Vincenti is one of only four council members seeking reelection to the seven-person council. Tony Giangiordano, Robert Wagner and Curtis Beulah are running again for seats in districts C, E and F, respectively.

Council member Chad Shrodes is running for clerk of the circuit court and Andre Johnson is running for the District 34 House of Delegates seat.

Giangiordano is running uncontested in the Republican primary, while Republicans Wagner and Beulah both face challengers.


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