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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Is Howard County Executive a dead end job?

     As the possible Democratic candidates for Governor grew smaller with Comptroller Franchot dropping out of the race the remaining candidates (Gansler, Brown, Mizeur) still all seem to have a Washington suburban orientation except our County Executive Ken Ulman.  While Howard County shares the dual orientation to both DC and Baltimore regions this would seem to open up a strategy to be seen as the remaining non Mongomery/PG candidate.
      A Republican from Howard County seems to stand a better chance than a Democratic County Executive.  A few years ago Chuck Ecker considered a run for Governor but settled for becoming School Superintendent of the Carroll County School System. Our former Police Chief, Paul Rappaport, also tried to run for Governor as a Republican.
     The advancement of previous HoCo Democratic County Execs to statewide office show how difficult it is to not be the candidate from one of the two large Democratic voting blocks. Liz Bobo got appointed to a State job before joining the State Legislature as a Delegate. Hugh Nichols moved out of the County for a private job before his term even ended. Jim Robey was elected to the Maryland Senate.  Ed Cochran went back to being a chemist. This situation was not the case back in the 1800's when Howard County was the home of John Eagar Howard, Edwin Warfield and Thomas Ligon when all became Maryland Governors.  They all also have a County office building named after them.
     Now that Howard County has approximately half the population of Baltimore City shouldn't the HoCo County Exec stand at least half the chance of becoming Governor as the Mayor of Baltimore.  Given the Governors who have come out of the Baltimore region (i.e. Marvin Mandel, Spiro Agnew) and the trials and tribulations of the previous Mayors of Baltimore (i.e. Sheila Dixon) and the County Execs of PG County (i.e. Jack Johnson) maybe Maryland would benefit by considering a candidate from the good government County--Howard County.

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