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Democrats maintain control of Howard County Council

The Howard County Council will have all new members after Tuesday’s election, but its party makeup will stay the same: four Democrats and one Republican.

District 1, which includes Ellicott City, will be represented by Democrat Liz Walsh, who received 61.9 of the vote to defeat Republican Raj Kathuria. Walsh defeated incumbent Jon Weinstein in the primary.

In other seats on the council, incumbents either couldn’t run due to term limits, or opted for other pursuits.

See live results from the Howard County District 1 race »

See live results from the Howard County District 2 race »

See live results from the Howard County District 3 race »

See live results from the Howard County District 4 race »

See live results from the Howard County District 5 race »

In District 2, which includes Columbia, Elkridge and part of Ellicott City, Democrat Opel Jones garnered 69.4 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s election to top Republican opponent John Liao.

Christiana Rigby, a Democrat, was unopposed in District 3, and will represent the district that includes North Laurel, Savage, Guilford and parts of Jessup .

District 4 will be represented by Democrat Deb Jung, who won 69.9 percent of the vote to defeat Republican Lisa Kim. That district includes Clarksville and the Columbia villages of Wilde Lake, Harper's Choice, Hickory Ridge, Town Center and River Hill.

And in District 5, comprised of the western and southern portions of the county, Republican David Yungmann received 54.6 percent of the vote to defeat Democrat China Williams.

The new council will grapple with school funding and the issue of whether to support Howard’s plan to mitigate flooding in historic Ellicott City. In October, the current council agreed to partially fund a $50 million plan that includes demolition of some downtown buildings. The plan is opposed by Preservation Maryland and other advocates who fear it might lead to the town’s removal from the National Register of Historic Places.

Early voting turnout in the general election was up 45 percent from the 2014 midterm election. Some 47,132 Howard residents voted early this year, compared to the 21,432 voters in 2014, according to election data.

More than 8,500 total absentee ballots were sent out, according to Guy Mickley, director of Howard’s board of elections. The deadline for receiving absentee ballots is Nov. 16 at 10 a.m., but the ballots must be postmarked by election day.

So far, the county has received 3,725 absentee ballots back as of Nov. 5, according to data from the state Board of Elections. In 2014, a total of 3,099 absentee ballots were sent out and the county received 2,480 ballots back, according to unofficial absentee results.

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