It's a sad time in Howard County, as former Howard County Executive Chuck Ecker passed away on Tuesday.
Chuck Ecker was the first Republican Howard County Executive, having defeated County Executive Liz Bobo in the 1990 election. It was an election where the Howard County housing boom of the 1980s and made a lot of people wary of development, and it was an time in which a lot of Howard County that was not Columbia was suspicious, if not hostile, towards their fellow Howard Countians in the new city.
Which was the environment in which the local Republicans ran a former Bobo appointee, an affable, intelligent former HCPSS official, Chuck Ecker against the seemingly unstoppable Bobo organization. And well, the organization was stopped.
I'm really not going to go into the politics of Chuck Ecker's terms as County Executive. It's not relevant at this point. In 1998, he ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for Governor, and it was nice to run into him on the campaign trail. Following that election, he later went on to be the Superintendent of the Carroll County Public Schools.
Chuck Ecker was a positive, optimistic man who dedicated his life to public service. Even when he had the opportunity to retire and reflect upon a fine career in Howard County, he still felt like he had something to contribute, out of his love for public service and in particular, of education. He believed in the high calling that public service truly is.
I join with his family and friends in remembrance and offer my thoughts, prayers and condolences.