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June 19, 2013

Kittleman Announces for Howard County Exec

Kevin E. Dayhoff

On June 11, Maryland State Sen. Allan Kittleman, a West Friendship Republican, officially announced his campaign for Howard County executive in 2014 at Clyde's of Columbia.


Like many, I learned of his intentions when he shared a link on his Facebook page on June 4, “Please join me next Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at 4:00 p.m. for a Special Announcement at Clyde’s Outdoor…”


Sadly I was out of town for the announcement, but by all accounts, it was well attended – by members of both parties. Jen Rynda of the Baltimore Sun Media Group took some video of the announcement and the gathering.


Senator Kittleman wrote on his Facebook page: “It was an amazing turnout and I greatly appreciate the support I received from Senators David Brinkley, Joe Getty and Bobby Zirkin; and Millie Bailey, former Senator Marty Madden and Dick Story. And, of course, my beautiful daughter, Haley Kittleman, was awesome.”


According to Sara Toth in the Baltimore Sun, Senator Kittleman currently serves “District 9 in the Maryland Senate, which includes parts of Southern Carroll County, Western Howard County and Ellicott City.”


On February 10, 2008, in a letter to the editor of the Carroll County Times, then-Carroll County Commissioner Mike Zimmer, wrote that Senator Kittleman “won his first election to represent Carroll County in the 2006 General Election with 66.11 percent of the 9B vote. He had previously been elected to the Howard County Council, and was selected by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr., to complete the term of his late father, Sen. Robert Kittleman prior to the 2006 election.”


“He was first appointed to the (Maryland) Senate in 2004. Prior to that, Kittleman served on the Howard County Council from 1998-2002…” reported Ms. Toth.


Sen. Allan Kittleman’s dad – Sen. Robert Kittleman, died of leukemia on Sept. 11 at the age of 78. I worked with Sen. Robert Kittleman on a number of issues on the late 1990s when I chaired the Carroll County Environmental Affairs Advisory Board and later when I served as an elected official representing Westminster.


Last week, Ms. Toth reported that “(Senator) Kittleman is the first to declare his candidacy for county executive, a position left vacant by term limits, ending current executive Ken Ulman's tenure in 2014. This week, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown officially announced Ulman as a running mate in his 2014 gubernatorial bid.”


This next 18 months in Maryland will be a game of musical chairs in the political arena and already one needs an excel spreadsheet to keep track of who is on first and what is on second.


Meritoriously electing leadership with the qualities and qualifications of Senator Kittleman and Harford County Executive David Craig, who has announced for the Maryland governor’s office, would be a meaningful step in the correct direction for Maryland voters.


I have known both individuals for many years and in full disclosure, consider both to be good friends.


One of the many reasons I have always admired Sen. Allan Kittleman is that he has faithfully followed in his father’s footsteps in the march for equal rights. On a few occasions I got to compare some notes and memories of the Civil Rights Movement with Sen. Robert Kittleman. I was active in the fight for equal rights in the south in the early 1970s.


According to a presentation by Sen. Allan Kittleman for Martin Luther King Day on January 16, 2005, he noted, “My family moved to Howard County in the mid-1950s…


“My father joined the Howard County Branch of the NAACP… As you can imagine, at that time in Howard County, it was not the most popular thing for a white person to be an active member of the NAACP.”


In his 2005 presentation, Sen. Allan Kittleman also said, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., once stated: “Cowardice asks the question – is it safe? Expediency asks the question – is it politic? Vanity asks the question – is it popular? But conscience asks the question – is it right?


“And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it because it is right.”


Maryland State Sen. Joe Getty (R., Baltimore/Carroll) wrote recently that “Allan is one of the most creative and innovative legislators in Annapolis…”


Of Sen. Robert Kittleman, Mr. Getty observed: “Bob taught us to develop our own strong moral compass to guide our decision-making and to never veer off-course from that compass when casting votes, debating or interacting with constituents.”


He also observed that “Allan is most certainly his father's child. He has learned over his career as Howard County councilman and state senator to follow a tried-and-true moral compass in approaching the complex problems facing state and local government today.


“I've seen Allan first-hand deal with difficult issues in the Maryland Senate. First and foremost, he always bases his decisions on what he believes is truly best for his constituents. Moreover, Allan never chose the easier path of political expediency, but instead he always chose the course that he felt was right and honest to the citizens of Howard County and Maryland.


“There is no doubt that Allan's style of direct and honest leadership will provide the best direction for Howard County's future.


“I am proud to call Allan my friend; I am proud to call Allan my Senate colleague; and soon, I will be especially proud to call him – Howard County Executive.”


We will all be proud to call Allan Kittleman – Howard County Executive.


. . . . . I’m just saying…


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