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Howard County Times: Our picks for the County Council

There are three givens in this year's Howard County Council races. First, at least two familiar faces will return as Democrats Mary Kay Sigaty and Jen Terasa have no opposition. And there will be an open contest in District 1 as Courtney Watson is vacating her seat for a run for county executive.

In that District 1 race, newcomers Democrat Jon Weinstein and Republican Kevin Schmidt both made it through competitive primaries. In what may be the most contested race for a council seat, both candidates seem to be more than capable of replacing Watson on the council. But in weighing all factors, Weinstein, a candidate four years ago for House of Delegates, narrowly receives our endorsement. Weinstein's experience, particularly on the county's Spending Affordability Advisory Committee, earns him our nod.

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In District 2, Democrat Calvin Ball is facing Republican newcomer Ralph Colavita, a retiree whose focus is on crime reduction and controlling high density housing. Ball has shown his leadership as a member of the council's majority and has been a good representative for Columbia. He should be returned to office.

In the District 5 race, Republican incumbent Greg Fox is facing Alan Schneider, a local attorney. We're in accord with Schneider's platform stressing infrastructure upgrades to keep pace with development, but Fox has offered a civil and necessary voice as the lone Republican on the council. His role in encouraging transparency has been vital and he deserves to be reelected.

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