About Bob Flanagan


Current Public Service

In the 2014, Bob Flanagan was elected to the open Delegate seat in District 9B, which covers the greater Ellicott City area.  He currently serves on the Environment and Transportation Committee, the Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive, and Legislative Review, the Regional Revitalization Work Group, and on the Howard County Early Childhood Education Commission.  




Bob Flanagan proudly participated in the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps at Harvard before that program was ended due to the hostile environment that existed on that campus in the Viet Nam War era. After graduating with a degree in economics, he was commissioned in the United States Navy and earned the rank of Lieutenant.  He served four years in the navy nuclear power program and earned his dolphins aboard the ballistic missile submarine, USS Patrick Henry (SSBN-599).

After the Navy, Flanagan obtained his J.D. with honors from Cornell Law School. He was admitted to the bar in 1974. He has practiced law for 30 years. He currently has a family law practice in Howard County.

Bob currently resides in the Ellicott Overlook development built on the scenic  location of  the former Papillon Restaurant. He has been a resident of Ellicott City for over 20 years.  Flanagan moved to Howard County in 1977. Each of his four children benefited from the Howard County Public School system. They are all college graduates leading independent and productive lives.


In 1987, Flanagan began his political career campaigning side by side with Bob Kittleman to win both Delegate seats in a district that had a history of electing Democrats. Although his district was redrawn following two censuses, Ellicott City was always the heart and soul of the district he represented.

As a Republican member in the heavily Democratic House of Delegates, he served the role as Minority Whip from 1997 until 2001.

Flanagan was elected by his fellow members of the Howard County Delegation to serve as chair of the delegation from 1997 until 2001. Moreover, he was a highly regarded Republican on many committees, such as the Judiciary Committee,  Joint Audit Committee,  Appropriations Committee, and Legislative Policy Committee.

In the 2002 gubernatorial election, Republican Robert Ehrlich defeated Democrat Kathleen Kennedy Townsend to become the first Republican to govern the state of Maryland since Spiro Agnew in 1969. Governor Ehrlich tapped Flanagan to become his Secretary of Transportation. In this position, Flanagan was charged with the management of the State Highway Administration, Port of Baltimore, the Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI), the Motor Vehicle Administration, the Maryland Transit Administration that includes the MARC Train, the Baltimore Light Rail, the Baltimore Subway, and the Maryland commuter bus system and the Baltimore bus systems, and all of the state’s toll facilities, such as the Fort McHenry Tunnel and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.



During his tenure as Secretary (2003–07), Maryland obtained approval under the National Environmental Policy Act to begin construction of the Inter-county connector as a state of the art, congestion managed highway by developing a new environmentally sensitive design (after two prior rejections by the EPA in 1983 and 1997). Maryland also began building its first Express Toll Lanes on I-95 North of Baltimore; constructed the Southwest Airlines terminal at Baltimore Washington Airport, planned and constructed a new cruise ship terminal in Baltimore off of I-95, reorganized the Baltimore region's bus routes and fixed transit service for the disabled. This latter achievement resulted in a friendly settlement of a potentially acrimonious law suit brought in early 2003 by the Maryland Disability Law Center citing long standing deficiencies.

In 2006, Baltimore Mayor, Martin O'Malley, defeated Bob Ehrlich in the gubernatorial election, thus ending Flanagan's tenure as the Secretary of Transportation.

From 2007-09, Flanagan was a Senior Vice President with First Southwest Company, advising state and local governments regarding public private partnerships for transportation. He has been a speaker on this topic in various forums including the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Study Group on Transportation Infrastructure. In 2009, Flanagan co-authored Emerging Trends in Surface Transport Concessions PPPs in the U.S. published in Investing in Infrastructure, a bestselling comprehensive research source on infrastructure funds, investment techniques and financing challenges in the world's diverse market by PEI Media Ltd.

Following graduation from Harvard University and Cornell Law School with honors, where he served as an editor of the Cornell Law Review and was selected to the Order of the Coif, Robert L. Flanagan has built a reputation as an effective lawyer for almost three decades. He has been admitted to the practice of law in Maryland since 1977. He takes pride in meeting the highest standards of ethics as a lawyer and public servant.

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