The Race for Howard County Council Comes Into Focus

The race for Council in the notoriously purple Howard County comes into focus with only one seat still uncertain. 

Howard County is a notoriously purple jurisdiction. Unlike some counties where the primary is the real election, the Council race in Howard is shaping up to be competitive come November. All but one of the seats will have a Democrat and Republican on the ballot in the General Election. Only District 4, which is contested between three Democrats, is set to be decided at the Primary. The results referenced below are as of 10:00 am Wednesday, July 20th, from the Maryland State Board of Elections.

District 1 Walsh v. McCurdy

Incumbent Elizabeth “Liz” Walsh (D) received nearly 69 percent of the Democratic primary vote, setting her up to face Sean J. McCurdy (R) who faced no challenger in the Republican primary.

District 2 – Jones v. Jennifer

Incumbent Opel Jones (D) will face off against Sheila P. Jennifer (R). Both candidates ran unopposed in the primary.

District 3 – Rigby v. Campbell

Incumbent Christiana Rigby (D) is set to square up against William H. Campbell (R). Both candidates ran unopposed in the primary.

District 4 – Evelyn Ahead, Too Close To Call

In the Democratic primary, incumbent Deb Jung is trailing Janssen Evelyn by just over 300 votes or nearly 6 percent. With a number of mail-in ballots yet to be counted, this race remains competitive. Unlike the other four seats, no Republican ran in the 4th District primary, meaning yesterday’s primary was in all likelihood the real election.

District 5 – Pontius v. Yungmann

Incumbent David Yungmann (R) will compete against Joan U. Pontius (D). Both candidates ran unopposed in the primary.

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Please note that vote counts are incomplete. Election officials still have to count mail-in and provisional ballots. For context, more than 500,000 Marylanders requested a mail-in ballot for this year’s primary, and those remaining votes are likely to be material to many contested races. However, local boards of elections cannot begin to canvass mail-in votes until Thursday, July 21.  For editorial purposes, MACo coverage will describe any races where the top runner-up remains within 10 percent of the apparent winner(s) as “pending” and those results as “apparent.”

MACo’s election coverage and analysis relies on unofficial results published by the State Board of Elections. Official results will follow after a full accounting of pending votes. Given delays in processing an unprecedented number of mail-in ballots, MACo advises readers that any close unofficial results are subject to realignment in the days ahead.

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