Former Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman announced Sunday that he is running again for the position in 2022 after losing his bid for a second term in 2018.
Kittleman, a Republican, confirmed his campaign for county executive in a five-minute video posted on YouTube on Sunday. He touted a record of “accessibility, accountability and equity” as qualifications for the position.
“Howard County is my family, my community and my life,” Kittleman said in the video. “These past few years, we’ve seen our community go in the wrong direction. We’re more divided, more taxed and more worried about our shared future.”
Kittleman lost his previous bid for reelection to Calvin Ball, a Democrat, who served 12 years on the Howard County Council. When it became clear that Kittleman had lost his campaign for reelection, the Republican notably traveled with his family to Ball’s election night party and conceded in person, with a hug.
Ball announced in June his own plans to seek another four-year term. He is the first African American to hold the office.
“We’re definitely moving in the right direction, but there’s still more to do to keep Howard County on the road to recovery,” Ball said at the time.
Much of the latter part of Ball’s term has been focused on the coronavirus pandemic. Howard is first in the state in COVID-19 vaccination rate. As of Sunday, more than 70% of county residents had received their first dose and 66% had received their second dose.
Following the 2018 election, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan appointed Kittleman to the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Howard County Times: Top stories
In Kittleman’s video, he appears to criticize Ball’s time in office, which he said has been marked by tax increases, lagging infrastructure projects and low morale among police officers.
“I worked hard to reach out to every segment of our community, to build bridges and make sure everyone had a seat at the table,” he said. “Over the past several months, many Howard County residents have come to me expressing their disappointment, even sadness over the direction our county has taken since 2018.”
In Kittleman’s announcement, the candidate says he intends to participate in the Citizens Election Fund, a voluntary program for small-donor financing of Howard County executive and county council candidate campaigns. The fund provides matching county money to candidates based on qualified contributions.
During his time as county executive, Kittleman opposed the bill that would go on to create the funding path for candidates who turn down large donations.
Kittleman went on to pledge that he will reject contributions from political action committees, lobbyists, political parties and businesses or development companies that do business with the county.
He hopes to have the largest grassroots campaign in Howard County history, he said in the announcement.
Baltimore Sun Media reporter Jacob Calvin Meyer contributed to this article.