My friends,

We always hear that the next election is the most important election of our lives. The truth is that every election is important.Elections are about the future. They’re a chance for us to choose the kind of future we want for our communities, our state, and our country. I want to highlight several races here in Howard County where that choice is clear.

I endorse Courtney Watson for Howard County Executive, Jon Weinstein for County Council (District 1), Tom Coale for State Delegate (District 9B), and Ryan Frederic for State Senate (District 9). I’m supporting Courtney, Jon, Tom and Ryan really for the same reason – each of them will be pragmatic, forward-looking leaders who will do well for the people of this county.

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Byron with Ryan, Tom, Courtney and Jon.

I’ve worked in government for 14 years and have been Register of Wills, working with local and state government, for four years. Here’s the deal: there are some candidates and some public officials who have what it takes, who are smart and thoughtful, who put the people and progress ahead of pettiness and small-mindedness, and then there’s everyone else. These are the people we need in office fighting for us. The candidates who are running and want to win, seemingly, just for the sake of winning, or seem to feel entitled to being elected rather than having to work for it and earn it, or who are simply out of step with the people they’re running to represent, those candidates need to be told “Thanks, but no thanks.”

Courtney, Jon, Tom and Ryan are four candidates who believe, as a great statesman once said, that politics is not about power or money or winning for the sake of winning – it’s about the improvement of people’s lives. Life for people in Howard County will be better in the years ahead if we elect these four outstanding, passionate, committed advocates to lead us forward.

Read more about them using the links below:

County Executive – Courtney Watson

County Council, District 1 – Jon Weinstein

State Delegate, District 9B – Tom Coale

State Senate, District 9 – Ryan Frederic

 

 

Friends,

The deadline for candidates to file to run in the 2014 gubernatorial election in Maryland has passed. I am both excited and humbled to be unopposed running for re-election as your Register of Wills.

Along with a dedicated team of public servants, I have worked tirelessly the past three years to fulfill the promises I made to the residents of Howard County when I first ran for Register of Wills. While we have achieved a great deal, there is more to be done in the years to come. We can continue to make technological improvements to enhance and expedite service to the public. We can continue to streamline the probate process to make it fairer for Maryland families. And we can continue to educate and advocate for the people we serve.

I am honored by the confidence placed in me by the people of this great county and thank them for the opportunity to serve. In the years ahead, I pledge my continued commitment to forward-looking and effective leadership and to compassionate and professional service to the public.

Thank you.

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In early December 2013, the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, a national organization dedicated to  electing committed and qualified LGBT candidates to public office, endorsed Byron for re-election as Register of Wills for Howard County. The Victory Fund previously endorsed Byron in his first race for this office in 2010.

2014_Web_Banner_Endorsee“I am honored and humbled to have the endorsement of the Victory Fund as I pursue re-election this year. This is an organization with a simple mission: ensuring that the LGBT community has a seat at the table. The past three years, I have been a steadfast advocate for equality for LGBT Marylanders. In the years to come, I will continue to give voice to this vibrant community.”

In 2012, Byron was a leader in the ballot referendum on marriage equality, better known as “Question 6.” With the support of fellow Howard County officials like County Executive Ken Ulman, nearly 60% of county voters came out to the polls to support marriage equality, the second-highest vote percentage of any jurisdiction in Maryland.

 

On Wednesday, October 9, 2013, joined by Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, Byron thanked a large crowd of family, friends, and supporters who came to boost his campaign for re-election. More than 75 guests attended, including State Delegates Guy Guzzone and Frank Turner (District 13), County Council Members Calvin Ball (District 2) and Jen Terrasa (District 3), Sheriff Jim Fitzgerald, candidates for state delegate Tom Coale (District 9B), Clarence Lam and Terri Hill (District 12), and George Zokle (District 20), along with former Democratic Party Chairs Carole Fisher and Tony McGuffin. Below are some photos from the event:

October Event 3

Byron with County Executive Ken Ulman and local blogger Claire Bolden McGill.

October Event 2

Byron with community activist Sherman Howell.

October Event 1

Byron with supporters Andrew Woods, Dan Furman, and Roswell Encina.

 

On Thursday, September 17, 2013, Byron Macfarlane was elected President of the Maryland Register of Wills Association. Receiving the unanimous support of his colleagues to take on this leadership post, he was sworn in immediately. The Association’s mission is to form collaborative relationships among the Registers of Wills from Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions, to improve services, establish uniform procedures, advocate for legislation that will benefit the public, enhance services through new technology, and to partner with other government agencies to best serve the public. Byron’s goals for his term include technological advances for the Association and the Registers’ offices, moving the Registers closer to e-filing, and continuing to build relationships with stakeholders across Maryland.

Byron had previously served as Vice President from 2012-2013. He also served on the Personnel and Automation Committees since 2010 and chaired the Legislative Committee from 2011-2013.

Swearing-In

Byron being sworn in by Assistant Attorney General David Hayes. To Byron’s right are Karen Lemon (Wicomico County), Loraine Hennessy (Charles County), and Rita Watson (Garrett County), who were sworn in as Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary, respectively.

 

On May 30, 2013, Register of Wills Macfarlane hosted numerous local estates & trusts attorneys to provide them with an update on legislation enacted by the Maryland General Assembly in its 2013 session. The meeting was held in the Orphans’ Court hearing room, where various changes were discussed at length.

Register Macfarlane began this annual tradition in 2012 to ensure an open and constructive dialogue with local practitioners. He explains how his office will implement new procedures and offers guidance on best practices to ensure efficient and timely administration of estates. He also obtains feedback and input from attorneys on future legislation. As a member of the Maryland Register of Wills Association’s Legislative Committee, of which he is a past chair, Mr. Macfarlane finds these viewpoints extremely valuable in shaping the Association’s legislative agenda. These meetings also fulfill the pledge he made when he ran for Register in 2010 to be active and engaged with community groups across Howard County. He will hold another session in May of 2014.

 
Byron discusses the 2014 election with County Executive Ken Ulman.

Byron discusses the 2014 election with County Executive Ken Ulman.

Byron with Registers Grace Connolly and Joe Griffin.

Byron with Registers Grace Connolly and Joe Griffin.

Former Howard County Bar Association President Mark Muffoletto, wife Michaela, and Byron.

Former Howard County Bar Association President Mark Muffoletto, wife Michaela, and Byron.

On April 22, 2013, hosted by Howard County icons Lou and Diana Ulman, the first fundraiser for the re-election of Byron Macfarlane as Howard County Register of Wills was a huge success. Byron was joined by Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, and two of his close friends and colleagues, Joe Griffin, Register of Wills for Montgomery County and President of the Maryland Register of Wills Association, and Grace Connolly, Register of Wills for Baltimore County. The event was held at the law offices of Offit|Kurman, LLC in Maple Lawn and supporters present included a host of prominent local estates & trusts attorneys.

Said Byron, “It has been a pleasure working with members of the Howard County Bar Association the past two and a half years. We’ve built a collaborative partnership and have an ongoing dialogue about how to best serve the residents of Howard County. These men and women are dedicated professionals who I really admire and I am very grateful to have their support in seeking a second term.”