An Early Look At The Local Howard County Elections In 2022

I have spent most of my day working on the yard and items in the new house…but now decided I am done with that for the day and this might be a fun time to take an early look at the 2022 election season coming up in Howard County. I am going to focus this post on the local elections in the county. Worry not…I will be following a lot of other elections coming up in 2022.

Let’s start here:

Howard County Executive:

Current Howard County Executive Calvin Ball has announced he is running for re-election. Today he does not have an opponent in the Primary or General. That will change. The question becomes who takes on this challenge? I do not expect a serious candidate for CE Ball in the Primary. The General will be interesting to see if anyone serious hops in that race. I do not see a candidate on my radar today…but of course, anything could happen.

Howard County Council Races:

District 1:

We already have a candidate (on the D side of the race) that has announced they are running (Neveen Kurtom). The current Councilmember (D – Liz Walsh) has not made an official announcement about her plans in 2022 (nothing I have seen yet). This is one of those races “To Watch” in the upcoming election cycle. I expect it to potentially be as interesting as it was in 2018…maybe more so over this next year.

Also something to watch…there is a Howard County Board of Education member that has been rumored to get into this race. More on that below.

District 2: 

I have not seen an official announcement or filing as of this post but does anyone out there not think the current Councilmeber Opel Jones will not run again? Not only that…when he does…he holds a big advantage to win again.  I am not hearing any rumblings in that district right now that tells me Councilmember Jones has much to be worried about yet. There is one potential candidate that I have my eye on for the General Election…but this district is so Blue it will be a BIG up hill battle.

District 3:

See the paragraph above for Councilmember Christiana Rigby. She did have a big Primary in 2018 (four candidates) but no candidate in the General. That seems to be the thing for D3 and State Senate and Delegate in District 13. I do not think Councilmember Rigby is in danger at this point if she decides to give it another go…which I expect she will.

District 4:

Many of you may have seen the recent announcement from current Councilmember Deb Jung that she is running again. She does already have an opponent in the General if she makes it thought the Primary (but not sure it is a serous one). It is early and I am hearing multiple names that might hop into the Democratic Primary (including a current staff member of Howard County Executive Calvin Ball and a current Howard County Board of Education member) Nothing confirmed and no filings yet…but I expect District 4 to be similar to District 1…”a Race To Watch”…and a district that get a lot of attention and money in the 2022 election cycle.

District 5:

My understanding is that current Councilmember David Yungmann will be running again in 2022. I think he cruises through his Primary without a serious challenger. The General will be different…as I expect he will get a serious candidate with a lot of support (endorsements and money) from candidates in “safe” races. I do not have a specific name but I have a couple of people on my radar that would not surprise me if they got in this race in the 2022 election cycle.

Howard County Board of Education:

Two seats are up for re-election in 2022: Chao Wu and Vicky Cutroneo (both At-Large Members)

Chao Wu – I honestly have no idea what his plans are for 2022. If he runs…I would be shocked if anyone would have the ability to beat him in an At-Large bid for his second term. He had a great team in 2018 and if he can do that again I would expect him to win again in 2022. Now…you have to think that maybe he will look at a higher office given his impressive performance in 2018. I would pay close attention to any announcements from the current Chair of the Howard County Board of Education.

Vicky Cutroneo – My guess is that Vicky might be leaning towards not running again. That is just my gut but I do not know for sure. She is a strong Board member and one I personally like…but I understand that there are groups setting up their upcoming attacks if she runs again in 2022 (I have seen the posts and comments) and that might persuade her to sit out this election cycle or she has done what she set out to do and now she will step aside for someone else. I personally hope she gives it another run for another shot for another term…but I totally get why she would step aside this cycle.

It would not surprise me to see the “At-Large” group of candidates exceed 10 for these two seats in 2022 in the Primary.

Following up on notes from above:

Christina Delmont-Small is a potential candidate for Howard County Council in District 1. To be clear…she has not announced she is running or filed to run…this again is my gut saying that maybe it could happen. She has shown the ability to raise the kind of money needed to run for that position…so just maybe. One thing to consider…if she runs and wins…the County Executive (I believe) will appoint a person to fill her seat on the Board of Education. That would be an interesting scenario to see play out and one that would have many concerned (I am guessing).

Jen Mallo is a potential candidate for Howard County Council in District 4. To be honest this has been talked about for some time in Howard County political circles. I think the recent vote on the new MOU for School Resource Officers in the HCPSS might have put a glitch on the ability to run for County Council this election cycle for Mallo (my guess based on some comments online).

The Courthouse Races: These positions include: Sheriff, Register of Wills, Clerk of the Circuit Court and State’s Attorney.

I do not have a breakdown of what might happen with these yet except to say…win the Democratic Primary and you will probably be elected…that seems to be the recent history and not sure that will change in 2022.

That is my quick recap of what I know or what I am guessing about at this point.

Here is the page to watch for future filings for local races in Howard County: CLICK HERE

Ok folks…this is where I turn it over to you…have names you have heard will or might run…have people you would like to see run in the 2022 election cycle. Let me know some names and for what offices in the comments.

Scott E


  1. District 1 has the potential to be the next firestorm for Howard County politics. Christina Delmont-Small’s victory as a BOE member-turned-councilwoman is not without precedent, especially not when a current delegate of Maryland’s 9B District, Courtney Watson, followed a similar trajectory in her career. However, unlike Watson, Delmont-Small seems to represent a more conservative bloc of voters, or at the very least, it is implicitly known, due to hints of such beliefs being recognized by some in previous responses to surveys, and other statements she may have issued in the past. Regardless of her beliefs, Delmont-Small’s foray into a more openly partisan brand of politics could be interesting to see. In fact, it will be even more interesting if someone decides to challenge her for the BOE seat in District 1, since it would force her to campaign on two fronts.

    In the spirit of talking about the sparks that could fly in District 1, it would be impossible not to talk about Councilwoman Walsh and the potential Democratic primary. If eyebrows were raised at her 2018 primary win against Jon Weinstein, then they will be fully torn off in this 2022 primary, depending on what happens. As has been previously written on this blog, Neveen Kurtom has been the first of potentially many Democratic primary challengers in this election. Currently, across the county, to my attention, she is the only primary challenger that an incumbent has in the Howard County Council. Darren Villus has filed against Councilwoman Jung, but the former is a Republican and the latter is a Democrat. Kurtom’s bid, while still early to talk about in depth, could be the first drop of rain in a monsoon, especially given Councilwoman Walsh’s disputably polarizing (or at the very least, strong) rhetoric, and indisputably rocky relationship with her colleagues, which could at least singe some political bridges at the time when victory is necessary for the position. I genuinely suspect that District 1 in 2022 could become what people claimed District 4 to be in 2020, only magnified elevenfold, with the entire county waiting on all sides of ring to watch this prospective boxing match.

    On a completely unrelated note to District 1, I believe that Board Chairman Chao Wu has an astonishing chance to win reelection if he decides to run, given his ties first to the well-established Columbia Association, and the rapidly growing CAPA, both branches of which (volunteer-oriented and politically-oriented) have absolutely grown in influence in recent times. The volunteer branch has provided hefty amounts of aid over the course of the pandemic, reaching out with local politicians and initiatives to volunteer at food banks and farms. Meanwhile, the political branch seems to have firmly found a foothold in elections, managing to place two heavily-endorsed candidates into the BOE, and casting a massive sphere of influence onto the rest of the board. With growing confidence and membership, it is possible that the CAPA could learn from their mistakes in the 2018 Liao campaign, and potentially look towards the county council once more. With the speed, diligence, and capacity for mobilization that CAPA has shown in recent times, the group could develop into the new kingmakers of Howard County.


  2. So interesting to watch Jen Mallo – a very progressive BOE member in her ‘talk’ but when it comes to her votes she remains mysterious!

    In 2019 she ABSTAINED from voting on the BLM school resolution….in 2020 she votes for BLM at school resolution and claimed anyone who votes against this doesn’t respect Black lives…in 2019 she supported SROs…in 2020 she wanted SROs OUT of schools…in 2021 she voted YES to the motion to remove SROs…and then on June 24th, 2021, during a crucial vote, she voted to KEEP the SRO program in HCPSS schools. Super interesting candidate to watch…her votes don’t seem to support her talk. Can’t wait to see what she does next…watching her antics is more entertaining than some Netflix dramas.


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