Two veteran civil rights leaders in Howard County have endorsed the white Republican county executive, Allan Kittleman, for reelection over his Democratic challenger, County Councilman Calvin Ball, who is African-American.
“Allan tries his very best to include all people in the decisions that he makes because it affects all of us,” said Bessie Bordenave, who heads the Harriet Tubman Foundation in Howard County. “You don’t find that a lot of times in politicians.”
In a statement released by the Kittleman campaign, Bordenave noted that she did not support Kittleman when he first ran for county executive four years ago.
The Rev. Douglass Sands, a former head of the Howard County NAACP, praised Kittleman for his “courage.”
“I’ve seen Allan Kittleman take backlash from his own party and friends, just to do the right thing,” he said.
Bordenave and Sands cut a 30-second video for Kittleman’s campaign touting his commitment to civil rights. According to the campaign, his record includes removing a Confederate statue from county grounds and placing it in the Howard County Historical Society Museum; establishing an annual award for a local civil rights leader, which is handed out in conjunction with the Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday; and appointing a diverse cabinet and senior leadership team.
Kittleman’s father, the late state Sen. Robert H. Kittleman (R), was the founder of the Howard County NAACP in the 1960’s.