About Bob Flanagan

Current Public Service

Bob Flanagan has represented Ellicott City (District 9B) in the Maryland General Assembly since 2014. Having previously served in the House from 1987 to 2002, he is deeply disappointed that there habeen such drastic deterioration in our national discourse.  This toxic atmosphere on the national level has made him all the more determined to work hard to support Governor Hogan and County Executive Kittleman to set aside politics and work with other elected officials and residents to achieve real and practical solutions to our many challenges. He is proud that Maryland state government has been recognized for achieving bipartisanship. Hogan and Kittleman have endorsed his re-election campaign because they know how hard he works and that he will always put your interests first and foremost. Additionally, he has received the endorsement of The People's Voice Ethics Ballot, the Maryland chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, Maryland Business for Responsive Government, has been named a legislative All-Star by the Maryland Retailer's Association the last two years, and is a Mom's Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate. 

As a member of the House Environment and Transportation CommitteeBob Flanagan has been a leader in the State's Chesapeake Bay Cleanup. While there is more to be done, convincing scientific reports demonstrate improved water quality, more bay grasses, and healthier aquatic life. The Bay is receiving the highest marks in decades from scientists and we are counting dolphins by the hundreds and maybe thousands in the Bay. From our state's mountainsto its tributaries and ocean, he has protected the environment by being a leader on the banning on fracking and prohibiting off shore oil and gas exploration.

As the father of four children who benefited from the Howard County Public Schools System, Bob Flanagan is a strong supporter of public education. Like many of our neighbors, he chose to move herin 197because of our high quality schools. He shares the concernof so many residentsthat poor planning and un-checked growth has caused school overcrowding and threatenHoward County's status as one of the best school system in the nation.


Every year in the spring, Bob takes great pleasure in being a judge and introductory speaker at each of the Ellicott City elementary schools for the Simulated Congressional Hearings, a civics education program for fifth graders. The high quality of this program is a positive reflection on our students and teachers who work so hard to maintain a level of excellence. As he has gone door to door in our communities, the positive feedback from parents and children has brought many smiles to his face.

Bob has advocated for accelerating the construction of anew high school. He served on the Howard County Early Childhood Education Commission. He was a key strategist in enactment of local legislation that successfully paved the way forgiving parents improved access to public information that they deserve.

Bob has worked hard to support efforts to provide state assistance to businesses and residents who have been victims of catastrophic flooding. His long-standing relationship with state budget officials will help obtain support for infrastructure programto reduce flooding in Historic Ellicott City.       

You may view Bob's 2018 Legislative Session Bill sponsor/co-sponsor list by clicking here.

In Annapolis, Bob also serves on The Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive, and Legislative Review, The Regional Revitalization Work Group, and is a member of The Veterans Caucus and The Maryland Military Installation Caucus.



Bob Flanagan proudly participated in the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps at Harvard before that program was ended due to the environment that existed on that campus in the Vietnam 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, where he served as an editor of the Cornell Law Review, and was selected to the Order of the Coif. He was admitted to the bar in 1974. Bob has practiced law for 30 years. He currently has a family law practice in Howard County that currently focuses on protecting women and children from domestic violence.

Bob resides in the Ellicott Overlook neighborhood, built on the scenic location of the former Papillon Restaurant. He has been a resident of Ellicott City for over 25 years.  Each of his four children benefited from the Howard County Public School system. They are all college graduates leading independent and productive lives.

Bob served as a member of the Howard County Human Rights Commission from 1985 to 1986.

In 1986, Flanagan began his political career campaigning side by side with Bob Kittlemana leader in the fight to desegregate public accommodations in Howard County. Together they won both Delegate seats in a district that had a long history of electing members of the opposite party. Although his district was redrawn following two censuses, Ellicott City was always the heart and soul of the districts he has represented.

As a Republican member in the heavily Democratic House of Delegates (91 Democrats to 50 Republicans currently), he served as Minority Whip from 1997 until 2001.When called upon, he displays a fighting spirit in opposing corruption. For example, he was a leader of the opposition when Governor Glendening attempted to get himself appointed as Chancellor of the University System of Maryland by bullying the Board of Regents. Another example is when entrenched leadership tried to pass a sweet heart tax-cut for the wealthiest Marylanders. Bob has fought hard against the partisan gerrymandering that is contributing to our divisiveness on the federal level and has introduced legislation to open primaries to independent voters

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 lawsuit 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.

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