GAITHERSBURG – Sept. 22 marked the deadline for candidates to file in this fall’s election in Gaithersburg. On Sept. 26, the Board of Supervisors of Elections certified the candidacies of those who filed to run for Mayor and City Council. The election will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 7.
Incumbent Mayor Jud Ashman is unopposed on the ballot. Ashman was originally appointed mayor following the election of longtime mayor Sidney Katz to District 3 of the Montgomery County Council; he won a special election to serve the remaining two years of Katz’ term in 2015. This fall, he is seeking his first full four-year term.
“I’m still campaigning,” Ashman said.
Darline Bell-Zuccarelli, an activist in the city who also ran for mayor in 2015, had planned to run again this year, but was forced to back out of the race due to health issues.
“I had to make a tough decision,” Bell-Zuccarelli said. “I’m going to have a kidney transplant in a few weeks and preparing for and recovering from that is going to require all my attention, but I will be back.”
The City Council’s most senior and junior members are seeking election. Council member Michael A. Sesma, who was first elected in 2005, is seeking a fourth term on the Council. Yvette Monroe, who was appointed to serve the balance of late Council member Henry F. Marraffa’s term, is seeking her first full four-year term. Prior to her appointment, Monroe served as chair of the city’s Educational Enrichment Committee and on the Olde Towne Advisory Committee.
Laurie-Anne Sayles, a community activist who has served on the city’s Educational Enrichment Committee and Economic Development, is making her fourth attempt to win a seat on the Council. She originally sought the office in 2014, when she applied to serve the balance of Ashman’s final term on the Council following his appointment as mayor, a position that eventually went to current Council Vice President Neil H. Harris. In 2015, she ran in the municipal election but lost to incumbents Harris, Ryan Spiegel and new Council member Robert Wu. She was a finalist candidate to serve the balance of Marraffa’s term before Monroe was announced as the Council’s choice.
Jim McNulty, another finalist considered to serve the balance of Marraffa’s term, is also running for City Council. He serves as president of the Saybrooke Homeowners Association, in which capacity he frequently testified before Ashman and the Council about quality-of-life issues in the neighborhood, and also serves on the Olde Towne Advisory Committee.
On Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m. the Kentlands Citizens Association will host a candidate forum at the Kentlands Clubhouse. The Asbury Methodist Village Democratic Club will host a forum at Parker Hall at Asbury Methodist Village on Oct. 20 at 2 p.m.
The deadline to register to vote in the city is Oct. 23. Early voting will be held at City Hall on Oct. 28 and 29.