The GOP is set this week to recommend Howard County Council member Allan H. Kittleman, son of the late state senator Robert H. Kittleman, to complete his father's unfinished term.
A six-year member of the council, Allan Kittleman (West County) is considered a fiscal conservative and a social moderate, best known for an unsuccessful effort to force the council to require a two-thirds supermajority to pass tax increases.
Kittleman is expected to be approved tomorrow night at a joint meeting of the Republican central committees of Howard and Carroll counties. His name will be sent to Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) for approval, Howard County GOP Chairman Howard M. Rensin said yesterday.
Late last week, two days after Kittleman and family members attended a packed memorial service for his father at a high school, Kittleman signaled that he wanted to be appointed to his father's seat. Within 48 hours, other announced candidates had withdrawn.
Robert Kittleman, 78, who died Sept. 11 after battling leukemia, was a widely respected political moderate, regarded as the dean of the Howard County GOP. He helped bring pressure on schools and restaurants to desegregate in the early 1960s and also worked on transportation and growth.
Rensin described Allan Kittleman as having "the perfect temperament for a legislator. He is slow to anger, gets along well with other folks, and has many of the same characteristics of his father." He said he expected Kittleman to be a "big supporter of the governor who will carry the governor's agenda forward."
The Senate's 9th District, which takes in western Howard and southern Carroll, is a Republican stronghold, filled with farmland that is rapidly developing. In 2002, Robert Kittleman had no Democratic opponent. The seat is up for election in 2006.
Allan Kittleman, 45, is a lawyer specializing in employment law. He said his decision to seek the Senate seat had hinged on timing and family issues. He and his wife, Robin, have four children, ages 5 to 12. He said that he thought the three months the General Assembly is usually in session each winter would "fit well" with his family's needs and that he could still consider a run for another office in the future.
He had been mulling a race for county executive in 2006 but will drop those plans, he said. Incumbent James N. Robey (D), who will complete his second four-year term in 2006, is barred by term limits from running.
Kittleman's decision to seek the Senate seat has set off a political scramble in Howard.
Council member Christopher J. Merdon (Northeast County), a Republican who had said last week he wanted the Senate seat, said he will instead consider running for county executive. On the Democratic side, council President Guy Guzzone (Southeast County) is planning to run for executive.