Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Waffles of Lesser Peril

A question for my MoCo readers (and/or those with an interest in MoCo politics), what are your thoughts on the Democratic primary for the Montgomery County Council (At Large) race?  With 33 candidates angling to be one of only four with tickets to the General Election, I am fascinated by the dynamics of this campaign.

By my count, there are at least 23 varying-degrees-of-serious candidacies.  Moreover, even several of the less promising efforts involve individuals with legitimate credentials.

Organization, the ability to project coherent and compelling messaging, and the ability to turnout voters are going to be (as they generally are in County-wide primaries) essential.  The Montgomery County Education Association (MCEA) has endorsed three candidates: Brandy Brooks, Chris Wilhelm, and Will Jawando.  If I were still residing in MoCo, I would almost definitely vote for Brooks and Wilhelm and I would probably vote for Jawando.  Jawando has solid qualifications and, frankly, he needs a W to avoid falling into the “frequent candidate” category.       

The one incumbent running for re-election, Hans Riemer, should be a mortal lock for a top four finish…should be.  Twice elected to the County Council, he has solid Name ID.  He placed third in the Democratic primary in 2014, behind Marc Elrich and Nancy Floreen and ahead of George Leventhal, so he is a proven vote-getter.  And he has some cash in the bank.

The decision by Jill Ortman-Fouse to run for County Council instead of seeking re-election to the Board of Education, in my outsider-y estimation, shook up the field. Many voters won’t pick more than three candidates and I can see her garnering a substantial number of “top 3” votes.   She, like Riemer, ran and won County-wide in 2014 (albeit for a different office).  She tallied 95,900 votes (51.7%) in a hard-fought and high-profile BoE race against Shebra Evans (47.8%). 

So what do you think?  Feel free to post your ruminations or email them to me directly.

In solidarity.

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