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On the eve of Election Day, a newly formed Howard County Republican slate  sent out mailers criticizing Democratic county executive candidate Courtney Watson for alleged coziness with developers and her support of initiatives proposed by County Executive Ken Ulman and fellow Democrats on the County Council.

One, decorated with an image of a bulldozer scooping up cash and a "Welcome to Howard County" sign covered by a "For Sale" notice, calls Watson out for accepting more than $150,000 in campaign donations from developers, according to the mailer.

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The second features a picture of Republican county executive candidate Allan Kittleman and Councilmember Greg Fox on the front and highlights Watson's votes for the stormwater fee and fire tax, as well as a vote to let die a Fox proposal to end the county's high-calorie food and drink ban.

The mailers were sent by the Howard County (Ho Co) Maryland slate, which according to incorporating documents is affiliated with both Kittleman's and Fox's campaigns. A statement of organization on the state board of elections' website shows the slate was founded Oct. 20, the day after the Oct. 19 cut-off for a final pre-election campaign finance report.

Mailers have been a point of contention in the campaign, with Kittleman criticizing Watson for negative campaigning based on a set of mailers focused on gun regulation sent out by the Team Howard Slate, which includes Watson, County Executive Ken Ulman, Council Chair Calvin Ball, Del. Guy Guzzone and other county Democrats.

In a September debate hosted by the Howard Chamber of Commerce, Kittleman accused the Watson camp of cluttering voters' mailboxes "with a lot of trash."

Watson campaign manager Anna Mudd responded to the Howard County Maryland Slate's mailers in a statement Monday night. "Demonstrated by his voting voting record and campaign reports, Kittleman is in the pocket of developers, taking their money and voting their way," she wrote in an email. "For a guy who is bragging about his positive campaign, there is nothing positive about this mailer and there is nothing positive about Allan's record on zoning."

Kittleman's campaign spokesman Andy Barth referred questions about the slate and mailers to Fox, who said the slate was formed "to combat the crap that Courtney and Guy Guzzone were doing with a lot more money" as part of the Team Howard Slate.

As opposed to the Team Howard Slate's mailers, which cited a Kittleman quote from a 2006 Washington Examiner article -- the accuracy of which has since been the subject of dispute between Republicans and Democrats -- Fox said the information in the Howard County Maryland Slate's mailers was "fresh, new and true."

He said he wished he could have been even more critical of his council colleague, who has pointed to joint votes with Fox, the council's lone Republican, as evidence that she has worked to reach across the aisle.

"If I had had my way, it would have been more, it would have been harder, but Allan wouldnt allow it," he said. 

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