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Howard County Times
Howard County

Howard County mail-in ballot count shows incumbents retaining leads over challengers in county executive and County Council races

The Howard County Board of Elections released the mail-in ballot count Friday, and returns pushed incumbent council member Deb Jung into the lead over challenger Janssen Evelyn in the race for Howard County Council in District 4.

In the races for seats on the Howard County Council, only two were contested.

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In the Democratic race for District 4, Jung had 3,975 votes (48.01%) as of Thursday night. Evelyn is close behind with 3,815 votes (46.07%), and Hank Boyd earned 490 (5.92%). There are no Republicans running for the District 4 seat, which includes five Columbia villages, Wilde Lake, Harper’s Choice, Hickory Ridge, Town Center and River Hill, as well as parts of Clarksville, Highland, Fulton, and North Laurel.

The other contested race was in District 1. Incumbent council member Elizabeth “Liz” Walsh is still in the lead with 4,300 votes (68.72%). Challenger Neveen Kurtom has 1,957 votes (31.28%) . The winner of the Democratic primary for District 1 will face Republican Sean J. McCurdy in the general election. District 1 represents Ellicott City, Elkridge, Hanover and Dorsey’s Search.

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All other council races were uncontested. In District 2, Democratic incumbent Opel Jones will face Republican challenger Sheila P. Jennifer in the general election. In District 3, Democratic incumbent Christiana Rigby will compete with Republican William H. Campbell in the general election. In District 5, Republican incumbent David Yungmann will face Democratic challenger Joan U. Pontius in the general election.

In the Howard County executive race, former county executive Allan Kittleman held a commanding lead in the Republican primary, with 12,880 votes (94.3%) over Darren Vilus, who earned 427 (3.13%) and Molsen Haghighat, with 352 (2.58%).

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In the Democratic primary, incumbent County Executive Calvin Ball has received 30,393 votes (86.85%) so far. His challenger, Harry Dunbar, is a distant second, with 4,601 (13.15%).

This is not the first time Ball and Kittleman have faced off in a race for Howard County executive. In the 2018 election, Kittleman was the incumbent and Ball was a Howard County Council member. Ball won that election and has held the seat for the past four years.

“Allan looks forward to building on his growing momentum for the general election,” Phil Nichols, campaign manager for Kittleman, said in an email. “He will win with the largest grassroots support in Howard County history, and he will do so while not taking any special interest or developer money.”

Ball issued a news release late Friday afternoon stating he was “honored” to be chosen by Democratic voters.

“In these challenging times, I’ve been inspired by how we have come together to to help each other in a time of need, and we know hope is on the horizon once again,” he stated. “We’ve made incredible progress over the last four years, but the work is not done yet. I remain committed to ensuring Howard County is the best place to live, work, play, and grow for all.”

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Howard County Election Director Guy Mickley said 1,600 provisional ballots will be counted on Wednesday and 3,000 remaining mail-in ballots will be counted on July 29. Mail-in ballots are still coming in, Mickley said, and as long as they are postmarked by July 19 they will be counted. The primary election results will be certified on July 29, he said.


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