The Howard County Education Association announced Thursday it has endorsed County Council member Courtney Watson (D-Ellicott City/Elkridge) for County Executive and Eric Ebersole, a teacher at Reservoir High School, for delegate in the Maryland General Assembly District 12 race.
In making the endorsements, the association, which represents 5,300 local educators, praised Watson’s and Ebersole’s commitment to education.
The candidates and their opponents had to complete questionnaires and participate in interviews with members of HCEA, the Teachers Association of Baltimore County (TABCO), and the Educational Support Professionals of Baltimore County (ESPBC), HCEA President Paul Lemle said in a statement.
Watson and Ebersole both said in statements they appreciate the endorsements.
“The educators in Howard County, and their tireless work on behalf of our students, are what make our schools some of the best in the world,” Watson said in the statement. “I will continue to make education a top priority as County Executive and find additional ways to improve our school system and support our educators.”
Said Lemle: “Our primary consideration in recommending Courtney Watson to our membership and to Howard County citizens is her strong record of commitment to Howard County’s public schools and to the educators who make our schools the best in the nation. As a member of the Board of Education and the County Council, Courtney has demonstrated her commitment to education funding and to working collaboratively with HCEA.”
Watson is competing against Republican state senator Allan Kittleman of West Friendship for the executive seat, held by Ken Ulman, who cannot run again because of term limits. She formerly served as a member of the Howard County Board of Education from 2002 - 2008 before being elected to the council.
Ebersole, a Catonsville resident, is one of 10 seeking three seats in District 12, which covers Catonsville, Arbutus, Lansdowne, Elkridge, Ellicott City and part of Columbia.
“The endorsement is a significant step in the campaign,” he said in a phone interview. “Among the 10 candidates, I’m the only one to have received the endorsement.”
Ebersole said he believes being an educator helped secure the endorsement, but said it wasn’t the only factor.
“We had to demonstrate knowledge of the issues. I have a fair knowledge of the issues because I deal with educators on a daily basis,” he said.
If elected, Ebersole said he could take a leave of absence and have a long-term substitute fill in for him at Reservoir or he could retire, as he has taught for more than 30 years.
“Eric has been a teacher in the Howard County Public School System and an HCEA/MSEA member for over 30 years. His father was an educator in Baltimore County and a union member. No one understands the issues and concerns of our frontline educators better than Eric,” Lemle said in the statement.
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