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16 Vie To Replace Leopold As Anne Arundel County Executive

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John Hammond
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Alex DeMetrick has been a general assignment reporter with WJZ...
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)—The deadline was Friday, and 16 people have filed to be the next Anne Arundel County executive. This is all the result of John Leopold’s criminal conviction and resignation.

Alex DeMetrick reports the field now includes the acting county executive.

Surrounded by family, John Hammond stepped out of his Annapolis home as Anne Arundel’s acting county executive–a temporary job he was appointed to and now wants to continue.

“I am seeking the office of county executive to fill the remaining term of Mr. Leopold,” Hammond said.

Leopold resigned after a criminal conviction with still 21 months to go in office.

Hammond is a prior county council member and was working as chief administrative officer when the council named him acting executive.

He wants the next 21 months to “put the issues of the past couple of years behind us and re-invigorate the county,” Hammond said.

Those issues include Leopold’s use of police for personal matters, including romantic rendezvous.

Hammond says he will continue to drive himself in his pick-up but 15 others have applied for the top job here, including former Maryland first lady Kendel Ehrlich.

“If the voters could vote on this, I think I would be very strongly the favorite. So I’m hoping the council will hear that message,” Ehrlich said.

On Feb. 21, the County Council will interview all those who have applied for the job and that night will vote in a new county executive.

“Its unique circumstances for which I’m uniquely qualified for,” Ehrlich said.

“After everybody who wants this job has applied, I’ve got the best resume. The best experience,” Hammond said.

All are promising an experience different from Leopold’s.

“I will not be using the security detail.  I drive a pick-up truck,” Hammond said.

Because Leopold is a Republican, only a Republican can replace him. And both Hammond and Ehrlich say they only want the job temporarily and won’t run for county executive in the 2014 election.

Other candidates include Delegate Steve Schuh, Tom Angelis, Phil Bissett, David Cordle, Ingrid Dean, Ron Elfenbein. John Gary, Rick Hoover, Patrick Jameson, Curtis Kingland, Laura Neuman, Millard Snowden, James Wilhelm and Derick Young.

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