Anne Arundel County executive candidates Steuart Pittman and Jessica Haire will debate the county’s biggest issues Oct. 18 at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis.
The Capital and Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce will co-host the event.
The Tuesday debate will start at 7 p.m. and end at 8:30 p.m. It will also be streamed live online. A group of panelists will ask the candidates a series of questions about how the two would approach county issues over the next four years if they win the office. Members of the public may submit questions online at capitalgazette.com/debate ahead of the event.
“The Office of County Executive plays a such a large role in the everyday life of county residents and impacts the daily operations of businesses located in the County,” chamber President Mark Kleinschmidt said in a statement. “It is our goal as a non-partisan organization to provide information about the positions of each candidate to our membership and public so they can make an informed decision when voting.”
Pittman, a Democrat, defeated incumbent Republican County Executive Steve Schuh in 2018. Pittman had no Democratic challengers during the 2022 primary.
Haire, a County Council member from Edgewater, defeated former Annapolis Del. Herb McMillan, former council member John Grasso, corporate recruiter Chris Jahn and engineer Fernando Berra to clinch the Republican nomination in July. Haire was elected to the council in 2018.
Haire and Pittman have criticized each other for taking campaign contributions from developers. Haire received tens of thousands of dollars from Halle Companies and its employees, a developer that has spent 30 years trying to build a landfill along Patuxent Road. Pittman collected $2,500 from Conifer Realty, a developer that is building a workforce housing project in Odenton. He also granted the company a tax break, a move that was approved by a majority of the County Council.
Capital Editor and Director of Content for Community News at Baltimore Sun Media Jay Judge said he hopes the event is enlightening for voters ahead of the Nov. 8 general election, which will also feature races for other county, state and federal offices.
“Providing an opportunity for community engagement and helping the public understand the candidates’ positions is an important part of our mission,” Judge said in a statement. “A free and open debate of the important issues facing the county is essential to democracy.”
Debate organizers ask those planning to attend in person to register through the chamber’s website.