My experience scheduling Howard County Board of Education events in 2020 during the General Election

In response to comments (from people in our community and from candidates running for office) about my forum / debates:

Note: I posted this on social media and thought it would be good to put on the blog for those blog readers not following me on social media.

A number of candidates have chosen not to participate in the upcoming candidate forum / debates similar to what I hosted in the Primary. Some of those candidates mention a social media post when I indicated that I may endorse a candidate in the election.

To set the record straight…I did make a post out of frustration when one candidate did not respond to my MANY attempts at outreach in the Primary and the General. This candidate has taken a very political position in this Howard County Board of Education race. Anyone that has been a reader of my blog know I am not a fan of partisan politics playing a role in the board races. This particular candidate has also made some troubling posts on social media themselves that seems to get ignored by many in our community. So yes…I got upset when the one thing I heard back from this candidate was that they would not participate in my event and I indicated I may endorse that candidates opponent in this election.

To be very clear I have not endorsed that other candidate (or any candidate in any race) and do not plan on providing any endorsements. Many of my friends and blog readers reached out and I listened.

Every candidate is treated fairly and given equal time during my events. No candidate is ever left out. I try my best to provide an open opportunity for every candidate. Those that wish to take advantage of this opportunity is welcome to do so and my hope is that I have the opportunity to continue to provide a non-partisan environment welcoming to all candidates.

I am sad that some in our community have chosen to indicate that I am not objective in my events across the board. I am also sad at the level of partisan politics being played in this Board of Education race this election cycle.

I will have a number of upcoming events for those candidates wishing to participate and I hope my followers and readers tune in to hear about these candidates.

Scott E

Here are some of the upcoming event scheduled at this moment (click the image below to view the events on Facebook). My goal is to get more events on the calendar and as soon as I do I will get out new posts on the blog and social media:


  1. You could solve this problem easily if you wanted to. There are candidates that advertise on your blog. I see them in the top right of every page on YOUR site.

    You could easily make a requirement that anyone who wants to advertise on YOUR site needs to participate in YOUR events. You don’t have to take their money. But if you’re hoping and expecting an outcome you can say that participation in advertising requires participation in candidate forum events if it’s a political ad from a candidate that is advertising on your site that you will have a forum that’s relevant for.

    You are free to set the rules for advertising as you wish and it won’t impact your objectivity to refuse ads where the candidate won’t participate in open forums. Your choice.


  2. Sorry, I really want to take your side on this but I find it tough…

    When the district 1 debate was canceled and rescheduled with a one sided interview with the statement: “So instead of having an opportunity to bring the public access to both candidates I will move forward with bringing the public information with the one candidate willing to participate….willing to address the public….willing to be open to questions from a non-partisan voice in our community. That is really all I can do and you the reader of the blog can make your choice at the end of the day.” Then you are -taking sides- and you cannot expect that other candidates would feel comfortable with the neutrality of your forum at that point.

    I see candidates brazenly modifying their political footprint and claiming to be truly non-partisan (after and around primary, like a classic pivot to center) and candidates owning their partisanship. I’m not even sure how I feel about the non-partisan nature of the BOE race to begin with—it seems like all candidates do their best to sounds as generic as possible and to conceal their political positions (even when relevant) and I’m left reading tea leaves.

    I really like your blog and see it as invaluable to the community at large! So don’t take my critique as meant to me a undue personal attack—we are all people muddling through uncharted territory on top of some of the most raw BOE electioneering I’ve ever seen. So take heart that people that appreciate your thoughtfulness will move on, but recognize that people who have depended on a neutral territory to read about candidates feel mistrustful that they are really getting that…


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