The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has forced all of the normal forums that happen in Howard County in a local election cycle to be canceled so we have to come up with other ideas to learn about the candidates…so this is mine.


On Wednesday May 6th all four candidates seeking a seat on the Howard County Board of Education in district 5 will join Scott E’s Blog (via Zoom) for a debate. This debate will be live streamed on Scott E’s Blog Facebook page. After the debate Scott E’s Blog will also publish this event on the Scott E’s Blog YouTube page.

Here is a link to the event on Facebook (in case you need a reminder…those always help me remember things happening in our community):


All four candidates in district 5 have confirmed that they will attend this event (Yun Lu, Gene Ryan, Cindy Vaillancourt and Saif Rehman).

Here is a simple breakdown of the format of the debate:

4 person debate: 

Question to candidate A – 2 minutes to answer

Candidates B, C and D all get 2 minutes answer to the same question

Candidates A, B and C have the opportunity to reply / rebut the answers given to the question by the other candidates.

  • If candidate A, B or C chooses to reply then they get 1 minute to reply
    • Candidate D gets the final reply 1 minute (if they choose to reply)
  • If candidates A, B and C chooses not to reply to we move on to the next question

The process repeats for the other questions alternating between candidates who gets to answer first and then follows the same guidelines noted above.

Candidates will get 2 minutes for closing comments at the end of the debate.

All debates will be held via Zoom video conferencing.

The debate will be live streamed to Scott E’s Blog Facebook page for the public to watch.

The public will be encouraged to ask questions in advance of the debate and one or more of those questions may be used in the debate.


All of the candidates in district 5 have appeared on Scott E’s Blog podcast and as such there will not be time taken for introductions…we will hop right into questions after I explain the rules and provide some simple instructions to the candidates.

Anyone looking for introductions and additional information about these four candidates should check out these links to the podcast interviews:

Yun Lu:

Gene Ryan:

Cindy Vaillancourt:

Saif Rehman:

My hope is that the public is able to watch this debate between these candidates and learns about these candidates prior to voting on June 2nd.

If you have a question that you would like asked in this debate…feel free to send it along to I will choose at least 1 (or more) to ask the candidates in each district in these debates.

I hope you all have a great day.

Scott E


  1. I thought this was supposed to be a debate between district 5 candidates but what I saw was a debate between district 4 candidates. Where will the D5 debate be?

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