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Howard County Council chairwoman Mary Kay Sigaty to run for state senate

Howard County Council chairwoman Mary Kay Sigaty announed on Monday that she will run for the District 12 state senate seat.
Howard County Council chairwoman Mary Kay Sigaty announed on Monday that she will run for the District 12 state senate seat. (Nate Pesce / BSMG)

Howard County Council chairwoman Mary Kay Sigaty announced Monday that she will run for the seat being vacated by Democratic state Sen. Edward Kasemeyer.

Kasemeyer, who has represented District 12 in the General Assembly, announced earlier this month that he would not seek re-election after more than 30 years in the legislature.

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Sigaty, a Democrat with nearly 12 years of experience as a councilwoman and two years as a member of the county’s Board of Education, is a former teacher with a master’s degree in gifted-and-talented education from Johns Hopkins University.

Another political veteran, Democratic Del. Clarence Lam, 37, has also declared his candidacy in the June primary. Lam, a physician from Columbia, has been a state legislator since 2014.

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Three Republican candidates, all from the Baltimore County side of the district, have announced their candidacy for one of District 12’s three long Democrat-held delegate seats.

Republican Joe Hooe of Lansdowne also filed to run for the seat on Feb. 26. District 12, a historically Democratic area, includes portions of Columbia, Elkridge and Ellicott City in Howard County as well as Catonsville and Arbutus in Baltimore County.

Kasemeyer said he plans to endorse a candidate after the filing deadline on Tuesday, but has not made a decision on which candidate he will back.

“I have for a long time contemplated the General Assembly and wanted to be a member of the senate,” said Sigaty, 67, who lives in Wilde Lake. “And I didn’t think the opportunity was going to present itself, but when it did, I took it.”

During her time on the County Council, Sigaty has championed education and environmental issues, as well as affordable housing. She is not able to run for another council term because of term limits.

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During the county’s recent update to its Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance, designed to ensures the county’s roads and schools keep up with development, Sigaty was the force behind the requirement for some developments to include more affordable-housing units.

Sigaty said top issues for her campaign will be transportation, education and the environment.

“Now that I’ve gotten my feet very tightly on the ground in our local jurisdiction, I want the opportunity to work with others from across the state who are facing similar things in their jurisdictions,” she said.

This story has been updated to reflect that Joe Hooe filed to run for the District 12 seat on Feb. 26; the deadline to file was Feb. 28.

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