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Howard County Council member Deb Jung seeking reelection because ‘there’s still work to be done’

Howard County District 4 council member Deb Jung on Wednesday became the first member to publicly announce her run for reelection.

Jung filed her paperwork Tuesday using the Citizens Election Fund, a voluntary program for small donor financing of county executive and County Council candidates.

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“Anyone who runs for reelection runs because there’s still work that person wants to pursue and that is exactly how I feel,” said Jung, who is in her first term.

District 4 is comprised of five of the 10 villages in Columbia — Harper’s Choice, River Hill, Town Center, Hickory Ridge and Wilde Lake — Maple Lawn, Clarksville, Skaggsville, North Laurel and parts of Fulton.

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For Jung, the decision to file using the Citizens Election Fund is an attempt to help restore confidence in elected officials, and be transparent about where her campaign money was coming from.

“If we make a commitment to only take small donations from individuals, excluding LLCs and corporations and PACs, I think that individuals feel that they have more of a stake in the decision-making process,” Jung said. “Hopefully that will lead to more trust in the government and engagement in the process.”

The Citizens’ Election Fund prohibits donations of more than $250, in the aggregate, from any individual contributor and provides county matching funds for donations of between $5 and not more than $250 from county residents.

In her first term, Jung said issues of transparency were her focus, citing changes to the planning board rules of procedure and ensuring contributions to County Council and zoning board participants were disclosed.

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“One of our biggest accomplishments was increasing the school impact fee. That was very significant because ensuring that the school system is properly funded in the future is one of my top priorities,” Jung said.

If elected to a second term, Jung said she’d focus on three issues: preparing the county for statewide Kirwan Commission requirements set to go into effect in 2026, creating low- and moderate-income housing options in the county, and decreasing noise pollution in Howard County from BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport.

“Ensuring that the school system is properly funded in the future is one of my top priorities. This is one of the largest increased funding requirements that this county will face,” she said. “I said last year that I would be happy to vote for the full increase in the transfer tax if we could guarantee that the school district could get the last quarter of one percent.”

Jung also wants to explore new ways to assist the county’s low- and moderate-income residents looking for permanent housing solutions, focusing on apartment unit solutions. She said she’s particularly mindful of how this problem disproportionately affects Black Howard County residents.

“There have been so many ways this country, its institutions and policies, have prevented African Americans from creating generational wealth,” Jung said. “I think it’s time to really seriously look at that issue and address it.”

Lastly, she said she’d continue her efforts to decrease the noise pollution from BWI. Jung said District 4, as well as District 1 and part of District 3, are most affected by the “highway in the sky.”

Since she was elected, Jung has served as the Howard County council representative for the DC Metroplex BWI Community Roundtable.

Jung, a former nonprofit attorney, is a 33-year resident of Hickory Ridge village in Columbia where she lives with her husband and daughter.

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