We are down to 250 days before the 2020 primary in Maryland (April 28, 2020 | 7 am until 8 pm) and currently only have one confirmed candidate running for Howard County Board of Education (HoCoBOE) at this time. The question by many is…who else will get into this race in 2020? Here are some things on my mind:

Current candidate: 

Larry Pretlow is the only candidate to file or announce that they are running for HoCoBOE in 2020. Pretlow is seeking the seat in District 2.

Possible candidates from elected officials:

Five members of the current HoCoBOE are up for reelection in 2020. They include:

District 1: Christina Delmont-Small & Sabina Taj

District 4: Kirsten Coombs, Mavis Ellis and Jen Mallo

None have announced yet…some may not until after the redistricting process is complete. I heard a rumor that at least one may be planning an earlier announcement…but I do not have confirmation of that as of today.

Active campaign finance accounts of elected officials:

There is one elected official (that I know about) that has closed their campaign finance account (Mavis Ellis). That this may mean nothing at all…maybe it was a mistake in the last amended filing in July of 2019…or maybe Ellis is planning a new campaign finance entity for her next run in 2020…or maybe she will not give it a go in 2020. I have NO first hand knowledge…but the last July 10th amended report was noted as a final report…closing the account. I found that interesting and noteworthy at this time. (note – I have not reached out to HoCoBOE member Ellis about the account being closed)

I believe all other potential candidates up for reelection still have their previous campaign finance accounts open at this time.

View reports here:  https://campaignfinance.maryland.gov/Public/ViewFiledReports

Other possible candidates:

I have heard some rumors of names of people that may be considering a run in 2020. Nothing official so I will not names in this post (that would be wrong before they announce or tell me I can publish their name associated with running). I will say I have heard names in districts 1 and 2. I am not catching much out of districts 3 and 5 at this point. I did hear one rumor about district 3…but not sure how valid it is. I would be surprised if additional people give it a shot at district 4 given the possible lineup of currently elected officials that may give it a go.

The redistricting process going on right with could generate some interest for residents to consider getting into the race. That would not be a total shocker to me.

What role will the Howard County Council play in the 2020 elections?

The law that was passed to break out 5 seats by district was setup so that Council Councilmembers and Board of Education members could not run as a slate. That was a really smart move by the legislators in Annapolis. But keep in mind…sitting councilmembers can take sides and possibly influence the final outcome of the HoCoBOE elections. I do not expect any councilmember to come out publicly for one candidate over another…but support comes in many forms in local elections. Here are the things I will be watching:

  • Which councilmembers are at which HoCoBOE candidate events
  • Which councilmembers provide financial support (I will be reporting on the campaign finance reports for this race) to HoCoBOE candidates
  • Which councilmembers are showing up in photos on social media for/with HoCoBOE candidates

Again…support does not have to be a public statement to be support. It will be interesting to see how that is navigated this election season.

I will be tracking all of the candidate on the following page though out the election cycle: https://scotteblog.com/hocoboe-in-2020/. I will have a listing of each candidate, each of their social media channels and do my best to track news about them all through this election cycle.

If you are planning to run in 2020…be sure to give Scott E’s Blog a heads up when you announce so that I can cover it on the blog and add you to my tracking page.

Scott E

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