Howard County Executive Calvin Ball walked into a packed room in Columbia on Tuesday night to the theme song from “Rocky,” hugging supporters as he made his way to the podium at about 10:30 p.m., to declare victory in his reelection bid.
“This isn’t my victory, it’s our victory,” Ball said, to loud cheers at Kahler Hall on Old Tucker Row in Harper’s Choice. “A little over four years ago many people said it was impossible to become county executive. You made it possible, you gave so much of yourselves, not just for me but for Howard County.”
With 109 of 118 Election Day precincts and unofficial early voting numbers reported by the Maryland State Board of Elections as of 10:55 p.m., Democrat Ball had 55.72% of the vote (55,967) to Republican Allan Kittleman’s 44.15% (44,343). These totals included early voting, Election Day ballots and some mail-in votes.
“Education was on the ballot, the environment was on the ballot, assuring a woman’s right to choose was on the ballot and character was on the ballot,” Ball said, adding that he had called fellow Democrat Wes Moore earlier in the evening to offer his congratulations on his win in the governor’s race.
Ball said he pledged to work together with Moore “to make sure every person in Maryland is valued.”
Ball said his campaign “sent a message, we sent a mandate. I stood up for my community, I stood up for my values. And I stood up for democracy.”
Kittleman’s campaign was not available for comment late Tuesday night.
Ball, of Columbia, and Kittleman, of West Friendship, battled it out for the top job in Howard County this year, just as they did four years ago.
The only difference — Ball was fighting to keep his seat as county executive, which he took away from Kittleman in 2018.
Maryland Policy & Politics
Kittleman, 64, served as county executive from 2014 to 2018. Ball, 47, served on the Howard County Council from April 2006 to December 2018, before being elected county executive.