Democratic councilman Calvin Ball unseated Republican incumbent Allan Kittleman for County Executive, winning by 6,000 votes.
"I'm elated that we all came together. We were victorious, not only in the race, but for all of Howard County," Ball said.
Ball has served as a county councilman since 2006 and became the youngest to ever be the chairman. Now, he's the county's first African American County Executive and he says his wife and two daughters have been dubbed by many as 'the Obamas'.
"Some even call them Sasha and Malia and call my wife Michelle, so it's an ongoing joke but even beyond the joke, it speaks to the hopefulness that a lot people want to embrace again, and the opportunity and feeling that there is someone in our community who has everyone's back and that's what I like to be," Ball said.
He ran with a focus on education, increasing funding and alleviating overcrowding.
"Whether it's more restorative practices, whether it's more investment in certain classrooms, whether it's making sure that we have different languages supported or some of our kids who are going to school hungry or homeless, make sure they have what they need," Ball said
His win also putting the Ellicott City flood mitigation project into question. County officials are negotiating with owners to buy the lower Main Street buildings up for demolition. But Ball voted against funding it.
"I never thought that that should be the focus and the priority. I always thought that we should be evaluating different plans to save and protect the historic nature of Ellicott City while making our community safer," Ball said.
Come December 3rd when he is sworn it, he says he will evaluate where the process is to see how to move forward. His first orders of business: focusing on the budget season and the winter season.
"We will be going into the winter months, so I want to make sure we are addressing any preparations when it comes to plowing and things of that nature," Ball said. "The first budget of a county executive is predominately from the former county executive. However, there might be some things that we can continue to work on and shape and begin having those community conversations."