Howard County Election Guide

The candidates, incumbents and issues that will be affecting Columbia and Howard County.

As we look ahead to November’s elections, Columbia Patch is devoted to bringing you the information you need about every race nationally and locally. Here's our start on the candidates and issues we'll be covering as November draws near. Bookmark this page for updates.


President Barack Obama: Maryland is a reliably Democratic state for presidential candidates, but is important nationally, as its residents are known for opening their pocketbooks to write political contribution checks to presidential candidates, according to the Baltimore Sun. Obama held as well as campaigned in Baltimore with Gov. Martin O'Malley. He for a basketball game in November 2011.

GOP Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney: The former Massachusetts governor . Remember the Etch A Sketch comment? That came on the day . In explaining how the candidate would avoid being pushed too far to the right, spokesperson Eric Fehrnstrom, in a CNN interview, likened Romney's positions to an Etch A Sketch. "You can kind of shake it up, and we start all over again,” he said. Political opponents capitalized on the misstep. Nonetheless, Romney .


U.S. Senate

Sen. Ben Cardin: The incumbent Democrat is seeking a second term in the U.S. Senate. He has shared many of his views in .

Daniel Bongino: Cardin's Republican opponent is Daniel Bongino of Severna Park. He is a former Secret Service agent.


Congressional District 7

Rep. Elijah Cummings: The incumbent Democrat has served in the House since 1996 and before that, he served in the House of Delegates for 14 years, according to his website. If re-elected, he would serve parts of Baltimore City as well parts of Baltimore and Howard counties.

Frank Mirabile Jr.: The Republican from Catonsville describes himself as a small business owner and married father of four. He has also ran against Cummings in 2010 for a U.S. House seat.


Congressional District 3

Rep. John Sarbanes, a Democrat, is seeking a fourth term in Maryland’s 3rd congressional district. If re-elected, the Towson resident will represent parts of Baltimore, Howard, Anne Arundel and Montgomery Counties as well as parts of Baltimore City in the newly reconfigured district. Sarbanes made headlines in May when he announced that would come from small donors. In 2010, he was re-elected with 61 percent of the district’s vote.

Eric Knowles: No one is predicting a close race in Maryland's Congressional 3rd District, but if someone is going to upset Democratic incumbent Rep. John Sarbanes, it's the Republican Knowles. The son of a former Green Beret and police officer, Knowles calls himself a strict constitutionalist who says the nation's economic problems can be solved if the government prints less money.


Same-sex Marriage: On March 1, in Maryland. Despite celebrations from supporters, in May,  in November. Until then, supporters of same-sex marriage, such as Equality Maryland are mobilizing support, canvassing and holding public events. Groups that oppose same-sex marriage, including the Maryland Catholic Conference, are still soliciting support and fundraising.

Dream Act: The Dream Act would allow undocumented immigrant students to pay in-state tuition at institutions in the University System of Maryland if their parents filed to pay state taxes, if they attended a Maryland high school for at least three years and if they graduated. Passed by the General Assembly in 2011,  and landed it on the 2012 ballot as a voter referendum.


Need to find out where your polling place is? Whether or not you're registered to vote? Need to request an absentee ballot? Visit the Maryland State Board of Elections online for answers to those and a host of other election-related questions.


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