Interest in political office in Howard County appears to have abated since the last gubernatorial election cycle. Whereas only one of the County Council districts lacked primary challenges in 2018, this year only two of the five districts have primary contests, both of them on the Democrat ticket. All of the incumbents are seeking reelection.
Also in 2018, there were 13 Board of Education candidates competing for four seats. This year there are four candidates contesting two available seats. Incumbents Chao Wu and Vicky Cutroneo are not seeking reelection.
The deadline to file for candidacy was extended to March 22 this year. Maryland’s primary election will take place on July 19, with the general election to follow on Nov. 8.
A brief rundown of candidates who have filed to date in the Council and Board of Education contests follows below. The Business Monthly will also publish a voters guide in the June edition.
Council District 1
The Republican candidate for District 1 is Sean McCurdy, an IT project engineer and Ellicott City. Priorities listed on his website include applying a more coherent vision to development and redevelopment in Ellicott City and Elkridge, and supporting a comprehensive plan for new subdivisions and infill development in District 1.
Democrat Neveen Kurtom is a small business owner who has served as a former prosecutor and an attorney. Her priorities include support for local small businesses and small business development, building partnerships between government and the private sector to provide affordable healthcare for working parents, and enhancing the county’s environmental policies.
Incumbent Liz Walsh, Democrat, is seeking reelection. A construction lawyer in practice with large global law firms, her priorities include pandemic recovery, affordable housing, and improved public transportation.
Republican Sheila Jennifer served as a state and federal archivist and researcher before becoming a teacher and serving on the Maryland Commission on African Affairs. Her priorities include evaluating the impact of COVID-19 on education outcomes, advocating for spending cuts, restoring a healthy budget and economy and revitalizing the Long Reach and Oakland MIlls Village Centers.
Incumbent Opel Jones, Democrat, has worked as an engineer, mathematics lecturer, development officer and computer scientist at Lockheed Martin, Hampton University, Bowie State University and the federal government. His priorities include education funding, enhancing public safety, and revitalizing Long Reach and Oakland Mills in addition to other communities in District 2.
Republican William Campbell has worked for more than two decades as a senior financial executive in large, complex organizations, including the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and Amtrak. His priorities include financial stewardship, education reform and school safety, and managing balanced development growth.
Incumbent Christiana Rigby, Democrat, served as a community organizer focusing on consumer protection, environmental regulations and employment opportunities for the LGBTQ+ community. Her priorities include support for teachers, students and families and prioritizing school construction in the capital budget.
Democrat Hank Boyd is a clinical professor at the Robert H. Smith School of Business. His priorities include balanced future development growth and investing in electrical infrastructure to meet future demand.
Janssen Evelyn, a Democrat, has worked in the public and private sectors, most recently in the Howard County Office of Law and in County Administration. His priorities include vocational and technical education, access to affordable high quality housing and resilience in the face of climate change.
Incumbent Deb Jung, Democrat, is an attorney and spent much of her career working in the nonprofit sector. Her priorities include school funding, growth management, environmental protection, affordable housing, and government accountability.
Incumbent David Yungmann, a Republican, is a real estate professional with his own practice. His priorities include education, public safety, common sense solutions to resident and business concerns, and the reduction of wasteful spending.
Board of Education
Tudy Adler has worked in the mortgage loan industry and helped her husband found Adler Big & Tall Men’s Apparel where she was responsible for finance, human resources and technology acquisition. She is now a real estate agent. Her priorities include a re-focus on core education and putting the needs of students front and center.
Linfeng Cheng is a structural engineer. His priorities include a commitment to the quality of education, investing in school infrastructure to address overcrowding, prioritizing students’ physical and social-emotional wellbeing, and promoting the strength of diversity.
Dan Newberger has worked in the public, private and nonprofit sectors, managing operations in organizations supporting the Chicago Public School District and leading management and consulting teams focused on strategic planning and performance management in federal agencies. His priorities include pandemic recovery, school safety, empowering educators, and responsible fiscal oversight.
Susan Dreisch is an Ellicott City resident who filed for candidacy on March 16. There is no information about her campaign at this time.