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Laura Neuman Named Anne Arundel County Executive

The chief executive officer of Howard County’s Economic Development Authority will be sworn into office at 10 a.m. Friday in Annapolis.

UPDATE (11:45 a.m.)—Laura Neuman, who was selected to be the new county executive, was greeted with a rush of applause moments after she received a majority vote Thursday from the Anne Arundel County Council.

Neuman, 46, is a native of Anne Arundel County and the CEO of the Howard County Economic Development Authority

She gave a rousing speech during her interview with council members on Thursday night, laying her whole life bare—her trials and successes in making her own way in the world. Neuman earned a master's in business administration without a high school diploma or undergraduate degree, worked at T. Rowe Price, and Hilton Hotels before earning a name for herself in Maryland.

"It is truly an honor to serve," Neuman said after she was selected by the council.

Want to learn more about the newest executive? Read Ellicott City Patch's feature on Neuman from 2011. 

Neuman was sworn into office at 10 a.m. Friday in front of the Anne Arundel County Courthouse in downtown Annapolis.

Click here to see video of Neuman taking the oath of office.

The County Council went through three rounds of voting before landing on Neuman as the next executive. Other finalists included Delegate Steve Schuh, interim county executive John Hammond and Dave Cordle, chief investigator of state's attorney's office.

In the final round of voting, Neuman had gathered the necessary four votes from councilmen Chris Trumbauer (D-6th District), Jamie Benoit (D-4th District), Jerry Walker (R-7th District), and Peter Smith (D-1st District). The remaining councilmen voted for Schuh.

As for her first order of business as county executive, Neuman said she wants to restore confidence in the county government, after former executive John R. Leopold's departure.

"I think we need to create a culture that is collaborative and has strong leadership," she said during her interview. "Without strong leadership, the rest of it doesn't happen."

Neuman also spoke of creating a "culture of excellence" within the county.

"There should be a culture here that expects nothing less than excellence," she said.

Patch spoke with Neuman a few minutes before the final round of voting, during a recess taken by the council. At the time, she was considered a wild card by some. She said she was excited to be among the finalists, and was honored to have made it this far.

Howard County Executive Ken Ulman issued a statement following Neuman's selection as executive, saying he had picked her as the state's first female economic development chief, and together they grew the cyber industry and continued Howard's position as having the lowest unemployment rate in the state, along with the highest private sector job growth.

"Laura will make a terrific county executive, and the Anne Arundel County Council made a wise choice. I stand ready to assist Laura in any way as she takes on this new challenge, and I know the citizens of the county will be impressed with her drive and commitment," Ulman said in the statement.

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tom February 25, 2013 at 08:18 PM
Joe Robinson, I don't know that she omitted facets of her work history in her application. I haven't seen the application, have you? As a registered independent voter, I share values of both the Republicans and Democrats, but I don't feel an obligation to be loyal to either party. I vote on the issues, not the party. I hope our new county executive will be the same. We need someone who puts the well-being of the citizens above politics. I agree with you regarding the BS from government, but I don't look for a conspiracy under every rock. What you people are doing is very unproductive. If you really want to know the answers, you should go to the sources. Check out her application if that's so important to you. Call or write Loyola for an explanation. If I was that worried about it, that's what I would do, but I have enough confidence in overall government that I don't feel the need to know every detail. Are her party ties really that important to you? Perhaps you should ask her yourself. Until you provide me with some credible evidence, it's unsubstantial and yes, they are accusations. I don't care that you disagree with me, because my life is full enough that I don't need approval from Patch comments.
Tim Lemke February 26, 2013 at 04:24 PM
I've deleted a comment from "Carl Smoltz" because it was in violation of our terms of service regarding false or misleading statements.
Patricia O'Brien - Boarman February 27, 2013 at 04:55 PM
Be nice to keep political parties and gender out of this. Please give the newly elected(by the A. A. County Council), County Executive a chance. She has many challenges facing her regarding cleaning house if she so desires as well as the upcoming budget as well as getting to know the residents in the communities in which she serves and also be responsive to the unions requests. I wish her good luck and best wishes as she takes the helm and faces the many challenges that she will have to deal with. She has already made an excellent choice as her new Chief Of Staff, that being David Cordle, so far she has started off in the right direction, she needs all of our support, so much "power" in positive thinking. Have a nice day everyone and remember until you have walked in my shoes, so to speak, try not to be negative and be so quickly as to condemn. Thanks.
Ray Dizon February 28, 2013 at 02:16 AM
Congrats, Laura, Rick, on your new gigs! BTW, folks, I've known both of them for years and regard their work highly. Let's get beyond partisan politics and move our county forward. Also, Matrics is a great story that has Anne Arundel County bloodlines. One of the inventors of the technology is a resident of the county, and we need more innovators like him and CEOs who can take no pay until the company actually starts performing. Quite contrary to the current model of paying our politicians.
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