|Bob Ford and Byron Macfarlane|
Howard County Register of Wills Byron Macfarlane endorsed Bob Ford on April 27 for Howard County Democratic Central Committee. This is the third major endorsement Bob Ford has received this month—the other endorsements came from former Howard County Executive and State Senator Jim Robey and Senator Guy Guzzone . #hocopolitics
“Bob Ford has been a friend and supporter for over 10 years. I’ve seen first-hand his strong work ethic, progressive principles, and dedication to the mission of electing more Democrats to office. I’ve also seen his leadership as an advocate for LGBTQ equality,” Macfarlane said in a statement released on April 27 to coincide with the national Day of Silence. On this day, students take a vow of silence to highlight that LGBTQ children are bullied and silenced by bullies at school as well as online.
Macfarlane wants “to stress how important it is to have LGBTQ representation on the Central Committee because bullying is still a problem and we need to stand up for kids.” (Bob Ford wrote his own essay as to why there needs to be LGBT representation on the Central Committee.)
Macfarlane adds, “As we confront a wave of hate and bigotry coming from Donald Trump and the Republican Party and as the Democratic Party charts its future in these trying times, having diverse voices at the table is more important than ever before. Bob is the only openly LGBTQ candidate running for this office and I hope my fellow Democrats will join me in electing him to the Howard County Democratic Central Committee.”
“Byron has been a good friend through the years,” said Ford in response. “His journey in the political arena drives home the point that anyone who works hard can succeed regardless of their race, gender, national origin, religion, age, sexual orientation or gender identity. I am thankful for his endorsement and that he recognizes, as I do, that there are still LGBTQ issues that need to be resolved.”
Macfarlane was elected as Register of Wills in 2010, narrowly defeating the six-term Republican incumbent Kay Hartleb. He won re-election in 2014 running unopposed.
Holding the distinction of being Howard County’s first LGBTQ elected official and the first LGBTQ Register of Wills in Maryland, in 2012 Macfarlane used his experience as Register of Wills to advocate for marriage equality and educate legislators on the end-of-life protections denied same-sex couples. He’s prevented the Registers of Wills from implementing discriminatory policies and helped educate same-sex couples about how to take advantage of the inheritance tax exemption for domestic partners. Macfarlane hired the first LGBT employee in the 172-year history of his office.
His tenure at that position has been marked by a technological overhaul of his office and legislative initiatives aimed at making the probate process more streamlined and less expensive for Maryland families. Macfarlane is currently seeking a third term.