Republican Barry Glassman took office Monday as Harford County executive, promising to make the county "a leader in economic development and job creation."
In a ceremony at Harford Community College, Gov.-elect Larry Hogan praised Glassman as both a political ally and "a genuinely nice man."
"Together we'll put Maryland on a new path and together we will change Maryland for the better," Hogan said.
The governor-elect received a thunderous welcome in a jurisdiction he carried with more than three-quarters of the vote. He did not stay to witness Glassman's swearing-in because he left for Annapolis to attend the inauguration of Steve Schuh as Anne Arundel County executive.
In his address, Glassman promised to take on what he called a "heroin epidemic" in the county. He also said he will introduce a number of measures before the County Council this week, including a repeal of the storm water remediation fee derided by Republicans as the "rain tax."
"Rain will no longer be taxed in Harford County," he said. Glassman said the county would keep up its federally required storm water efforts using existing resources.
Glassman, 52, was appointed to the Senate in 2008 to fill a vacancy. He had previously served nine years in the House of Delegates and eight on the Harford County Council.
On Election Day, Glassman gained 75 percent of votes in his victory over Democrat Joseph Werner. Glassman succeeds David R. Craig, who held the office for the past decade.
With Schuh and Howard County's Allan Kittleman, Glassman gives Maryland Republicans added "bench strength" at the county executive level for future statewide races. All three men will lead large urban counties and are in their 50s.
The inauguration attracted many of Glassman's former General Assembly colleagues, in addition to former county executives Eileen Rehrmann and James Harkins and U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, a Republican who represents the First District.