Courtney Watson: ‘Howard County will not have the same gridlock you see in DC’

As a native Howard Countian, an education advocate, and a businesswoman who knows that a strong local economy is dependent on a friendly business environment, I am committed to continuing the progress Howard County has made. My experience working every day to solve local problems in Howard County as a member of the Board of Education and the County Council has given me the in-depth knowledge that I need to serve you well in the office of County Executive.

This election is critically important for the future of Howard County.  The voters must judge the candidates for this office on our vision, our experience, our effectiveness, and our results.

My vision includes making Howard County a model community for successful aging and building on our strong school system and nationally renowned public safety system. I have detailed platforms on education, the environment, economic development, open government, and public safety, which you can find at My vision for each of these requires that we continue to lead the way as one of the top 10 best places to live in the country and continue to build on our success and meet the challenges that lay ahead.

My experience as a board of education member and a Howard County council member has given me a valuable understanding of the inner workings of the county – not just what we do, but why we do it, and where we need to improve. In addition, my business education and real-world experience will be an asset in ensuring that Howard County will continue to be a place where businesses grow and thrive. I would be the first County Executive to serve from the business sector.

To be effective, it is critical that people agree with your ideas enough to work with you to move those ideas forward.  Among other things, I have been effective in improving power reliability for citizens, saving Merriweather Post Pavilion, and improving government transparency. My effectiveness is demonstrated by the fact that 93 percent of the legislation on which I was the primary sponsor passed the County Council. If I am elected, we will not have the same gridlock in Howard County that you see in Washington D.C. In contrast, only eight percent of my opponent’s primary-sponsored legislation passed the Maryland General Assembly, indicating a lack of effectiveness in working in a bipartisan manner.

I have been part of the team that has delivered results. Howard County is the only county in the United States that has been named one of the Top 10 Best Places to Live by Money Magazine for the last 10 years in a row. We have created 12,000 private sector jobs, we have the lowest unemployment rate in the state, Howard is one of fewer than 40 counties to receive a AAA bond rating from all three major bond agencies – Moody’s, Fitch, and Standard and Poor’s. We have a top school system and the #1 library system in North America. I have helped create our high quality of life over the past 10 years of serving the public. This is reflected in the endorsements I have received from groups that have worked alongside me in Howard County, including; the teachers (Howard County Education Association), the police officers (Howard County Police Officers Association), the firefighters (Howard County Professional Fire Fighters Association), as well as by African Americans in Howard County (AAIHC), NOW, and NARAL Prochoice. Our high quality of life doesn’t happen by accident. We have made smart decisions and worked hard. Howard County is on an upward trajectory because of the hard work and strategic decisions I have been a part of as your representative over the past 10 years.

My record shows that I have been effective, have the in-depth local experience required, the vision for the future and, most importantly, a strong record of results. It would be my honor to have your vote on November 4th.