The rumor that Jon Weinstein (Howard County Council – District 1) may run as a write in candidate has been floating around for a little while now. I know many of his friends and supporters were a little excited about the possibility…but it is not going to happen. Jon released this statement today via email:
Since the Primary Election count was completed in early July many friends and supporters have shared their disappointment about the result and expressed concern for the future of the district and the Council. I laughed with folks who commented they were going to write my name on the ballot in the general election; I even disregarded growing calls for this action by constituents in the district who I hardly know. Then I learned that a couple different groups had formed to discuss a write-in campaign and they reached out to me with plans of action.
When I realized the seriousness of these efforts, I was truly honored and humbled by the outpouring of support following the primary and the calls to run as a write-in candidate. I must admit, that as the calls increased, and when presented with actual plans, I felt an obligation to give the idea due consideration. In evaluating a write-in campaign, I focused less on the logistics and probability of a win, even though I lost by only six votes, and more on reasons to run…
1.My passion for District 1 and the Howard County community.
2.My experience and understanding of critical issues that will be key in the next Council term, things like the budget, Downtown Columbia, zoning code revisions, campaign finance reform, Elkridge renewal, and executing the comprehensive 5-year plan to address flooding in historic Ellicott City.
3.My history of and continued desire to act in a bi-partisan or non-partisan manner; working with anyone who is willing to engage in constructive dialogue regardless of their party affiliation. However, some in both parties here in Howard County have rejected this approach and are not ready to work at the level of bi-partisanship I believe is essential to move our community forward.
4.My ability (and my family’s) to continue to withstand the increasingly uncivil public discourse that is becoming commonplace on social media, and more and more during public hearings; some of this behavior being perpetrated by some claiming to be community leaders or in actual leadership positions in the county. As I’ve said many, many times online, in my newsletters, and in newspaper letters and Op-Eds, I’m disturbed by how much our local political discourse resembles the vitriol of the national level. I fear that people who participate in or enable this vitriolic behavior are losing a bit of their humanity under the “cover” of faceless, hateful social media posts that often border on libelous.
When considering these four points, I found myself discouraged by the weight of items 3 & 4. Further, in the remaining weeks of this term, I must focus on moving forward on the critical 5-year Ellicott City Flood Mitigation plan. I want it to be clear that the plan is the right thing to do, not the politically expedient thing to do. As a result, I want to make it clear that I have decided not to accept the calls to run as a write-in candidate for the County Council.
The General Election is less than two months away. Our responsibility to vote and to be informed voters is paramount to the health and future of our democracy – locally and nationally. Please do not take this responsibility lightly. Like you, I face an important choice for Council District 1, as well as other races up and down the ballot. I hope that you’ll consider the totality of the candidates (i.e., their experience, local community involvement, temperament, and even their social media presence), regardless of their party and how they’ll meet the challenges that face D1, Howard County, our great state, and country.
Considering the importance of our county elections, and consistent with my approach while serving on the council – weighing information from many sources to identify the decisions that are in District 1’s and the County’s best interest – I proudly announce today my support for the re-election of County Executive Allan Kittleman. I don’t make this decision lightly, though I believe it’s simply the right thing to do.
Of all the elected officials in Howard County, I probably have the most unique and comprehensive view of Allan’s ability to lead the county in a bipartisan way, consistent with the values of the residents of our county.
As the councilman representing Historic Ellicott City, I have worked very closely with Allan and have seen him behind the scenes when we were both knee-deep in mud helping to clean up residents’ and shopkeepers’ shattered dreams. In those settings, he consistently does the right thing for both Ellicott City and Howard County, and truly does not care who gets the credit. I’ve seen him work across the political aisle with our federal, state, and local leaders without a hint of political maneuvering. We sat side-by-side in meetings with community members, business owners and property owners as we developed the plan to transform Historic Ellicott City to save lives and save the town from the inevitable flooding. When I decided to introduce a building moratorium, Allan was the first to commit to supporting the idea. Without specific action by Executive Kittleman to address concerns I had about new developments in District 1, those projects would have been well-underway before the moratorium went into effect.
From my perspective as a county councilman, where we Democrats enjoy a 4-to-1 advantage, I found him to be open to multiple viewpoints and willing to engage in constructive dialogue whether we agreed on an issue or not. I worked with him as he completed major initiatives that had languished for decades, including transforming the Harriet Tubman school into a cultural and education center, establishing the NonProfit Collaborative, bringing new life and opportunity to the Long Reach Village Center, and accelerating the construction of a new high school. Further during our term, he made sure to fully fund the school system’s budget request while pushing them for greater transparency on their health fund deficit. His actions helped bring an end to years of turbulence in the schools under the previous superintendent.
I am confident that the new members of the Council, whether they’re Democrats or Republicans, will find Allan to be open and interested in working together, as we must all find common ground to build stronger solutions for our community. I hope you’ll join me in supporting Allan’s re-election or will take time to learn more about him on his website – www.Kittleman.com.
Thank you for the honor and privilege of service on the County Council.
Jon has formally announced he will not seek re-election via a write in campaign…and after losing a historically close race…and with the support he has with Democrats, Independents and Republicans…it would have been interesting to see what would have happened had he run.
Jon has also formally endorsed Allan Kittleman for County Executive. This could be a big endorsement…especially with District 1 voters in Howard County.
Howard County Council District 1 is a race I am watching VERY closely…and will continue to do so between now and election day. Any news I come across I will continue to update the readers.