Integrity is what you do when nobody else is watching. In the 2022 race for Harford County executive, the choice of Bob Cassilly is easily made based on his record of effective conservative leadership, military sacrifice, and service to his community that he is known for and often doesn’t boast about.
Bob is known for the kind of behind the scenes work that few legislators and public servants put in to craft good legislation and defeat bad bills. When Bob was first elected to the state Senate in 2014, I had the distinct privilege of working in his Senate office and got to interact with Bob in many of his senatorial capacities, from hard-fought legislative battles to constituent services cases at every level.
I observed Bob in scenarios when the public wasn’t watching. He impressed me because his true motives and for public service — doing what is honorable and fighting tirelessly for his constituents — never changed, no matter who he was around.
Bob can’t stand to see residents stuck in traffic, for instance. On many occasions, Bob would observe a traffic signal not functioning correctly ― or in one case, the entire signal progression on Route 24 from I-95 to Route 1 — and would direct his office to immediately reach out to the agency or individuals that could help make changes.
Bob’s expectations for government in general are high, which unfortunately is rare among many elected officials today. Through persistent but effective communication, Bob would deliver silent results for the county one intersection and corridor at a time.
One area Bob doesn’t spend much time in, however, is self-promotion, which is why I feel I have a duty to share what I saw firsthand. He would be the first to tell you that there is plenty of work left to be done to improve our county’s infrastructure, but thanks to his efforts over the last eight years, you could fill a map with pins marking the intersections and locations where he has brought real, lasting improvement, whether it was a dynamic signal timing system for Route 24 and Route 1 in Bel Air or pedestrian safety in Edgewood.
I can say all of this firsthand because he would direct his entire office and staff to deliver the same results that he worked to deliver. The only part of the process that Bob wouldn’t pay much attention to was claiming credit when it was all over.
Of course, traffic is one of many areas Bob has focused on during his time in the Senate, but it’s a good example of how he doesn’t stand for mediocrity at any level of government.
In Annapolis, I watched Bob pour his life experience as a husband, father, grandfather, decorated veteran and his astute background in law into fighting some truly awful pieces of legislation that would come before the Judicial Proceedings Committee. I remember one far-left bill in particular. Bob compiled an entire binder and spent a weekend on careful research, allowing him to methodically and categorically dismantle the bill’s legal and public policy failures at its hearing that week.
Bob would be in his Senate office long after staff and other elected officials and had gone home or headed to a social event for the evening. He knew he was elected to serve and his expectations for the office he held were high enough that the work was always worth it to him.
Bob’s dedication to his country, state and county comes from many sources. His strong upbringing to do the right thing and his rich ancestral heritage in Harford County give him a predisposition to public service, as when he left his seat on the County Council, closed his law office, and left his family for a time for a dangerous deployment during the global war on terror. He and his wife, Debbie, have made many choices as they raised their own family in Harford County and instilled those same values in their children.
Harford County has a once-in-a-lifetime chance to elect Bob Cassilly as county executive.