2022 Maryland election: County executive races in Frederick, Howard, Anne Arundel counties

A handful of county executive races across Maryland in the D.C. area are shaping up to be close contests and some remained too close to call on election night.

As of Wednesday morning:

  • In the Frederick County executive race, Republican Michael Hough had a substantial lead over Democrat Jessica Fitzwater in the race to succeed outgoing Democratic County Executive Jan Gardner. The unofficial results, with all precincts reporting, show Hough with 55.3% of the vote to Fitzwater’s 44.5%. There are still several thousand mail-in ballots to be counted, but it’s unclear if there are enough to flip the race back in Fitzwater’s favor.
  • In Anne Arundel County, Democrat Steuart Pittman was trailing Republican Jessica Haire although, in contrast to other Maryland jurisdictions, no mail-in ballots have yet been counted. Haire had 53.5% of the vote to Pittman’s 46.3% with all 195 precincts reporting.
  • In Howard County, a rematch of the 2018 contest, Democrat Calvin Ball held a wide lead over former Republican executive Allan Kittleman, who conceded the race in a Facebook post Wednesday afternoon. Ball had 56.5% of the vote to Kittleman’s 43.4%.

Montgomery, Prince George’s Co. exec races

Closer to D.C., Democratic county executives fared well.

In Montgomery County, Maryland’s most populous county, Democrat Marc Elrich was the projected winner in the county executive race, easily fending off a challenge from Republican Reardon “Sully” Sullivan.

Elrich eked out a 32-vote victory in July’s Democratic primary, but was favored in the general election.

In Prince George’s County, Angela Alsobrooks ran unopposed for a second term and did not have a challenger on the ballot.

Frederick County

In Frederick County, where some mail-in ballots remain to be counted, two-term state Sen. Michael Hough was leading Democrat Jessica Fitzwater, 55.3% to 44.5% as of midnight Wednesday. The total difference in votes was nearly 8,800.

Fitzwater, a two-term county council member, campaigned on prioritizing affordable housing and investing in education and said she would govern in the mold of her predecessor, Gardner, also a Democrat and the county’s first county executive under the “charter system of government” adopted in 2014.

Hough had campaigned on keeping the county from being “overdeveloped and overtaxed.”

“I don’t want to see Frederick County turn into Montgomery County-North,” Hough told WTOP.

Hough is also a U.S. Air Force veteran and serves on the state Senate’s Judicial Proceedings Committee.

According to election-night vote counts, about 3,700 mail-in ballots had been tabulated ahead of Tuesday. However, data form the Maryland State Board of Elections indicates there are still several thousand mail-in ballots to be counted. As of Tuesday, more than 19,900 mail-in ballots had been returned by voters in the county and that total could climb slightly as mail-in ballots sent through the mail will be accepted until Nov. 18 as long as they were postmarked by Election Day.

Anne Arundel County

In Anne Arundel County, Democratic incumbent Steuart Pittman was trailing County Council Member Jessica Haire, 46% to 54%.

Haire’s lead as of Wednesday morning was about 10,800 votes.

However, Anne Arundel County is one of 13 jurisdictions in which no mail-in ballots were counted before Election Day. About 45,600 mail-in ballots had been returned by Anne Arundel County voters as of Election Day that have not yet been counted — nearly 60% of them sent in by registered Democrats.

Mail-in ballots will be counted starting Thursday.

Pittman, who was elected to the office amid the Democratic wave in 2018 with 52% of the vote, ran on improving schools and other county services and said Haire is too extreme, according to Maryland Matters.

Haire countered that Pittman’s leadership of the county has been a failure and hit him particularly on crime and government waste.

In debates and on the campaign trail, the two candidates have sparred over crime, taxes, county spending, and growth and development.

A poll in early October from a political action committee supporting Pittman showed Haire with a slight lead over the Democratic incumbent.

Howard County

In the county executive race in Howard County, Democrat Calvin Ball maintained a comfortable lead over Republican challenger Allan Kittleman, who conceded the race in a Facebook post.

With some mail-in ballots still to be counted, Ball led Kittleman 56% to 43%. Ball’s margin was about 13,700 votes.

“In reviewing the election results that have been reported, it is clear that we will not be able to overcome our deficit when remaining mail-in ballots are counted,” Kittleman said in the Facebook post.

Kittleman said he had called Ball Tuesday night to congratulate him on his victory. “I wish him all the best as he continues to lead Howard County over the next four years.”

While registered Democrats far outnumber Republicans, Howard County is seen as a bellwether.

In 2018, Ball bested Kittleman with nearly 53% of the vote to Kittleman’s 47%. 

This go-round, Ball campaigned on the investments he’s made in education, including boosting funding for special education, teacher salaries and school construction, according to Maryland Matters.

Kittleman campaigned on addressing concerns over public safety, education and taxes.

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined WTOP.com as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at Nextgov.com, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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