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County Council incumbents among Democrat winners in primary Featured

Celebrating their election victories Tuesday night were (from left) Council member Tom Hucker; Democratic candidates for State Delegate in District 20 Jheanelle Wilkins and Lorig Charkoudian; and District 20 State Sen. Will Smith. PHOTO BY SUZANNE POLLAKCelebrating their election victories Tuesday night were (from left) Council member Tom Hucker; Democratic candidates for State Delegate in District 20 Jheanelle Wilkins and Lorig Charkoudian; and District 20 State Sen. Will Smith. PHOTO BY SUZANNE POLLAK  Democrat County Council members Tom Hucker, Craig Rice, Nancy Navarro and Sidney Katz won their party’s support again and will be joined by Andrew Friedson on the Democratic ticket in November to represent their districts.

If they, as well as the Democratic at-large candidates, go on to win in the general election, there will be one less woman on the Council from a ballot that was heavy on women of color.

Rice, who was first elected in District 2 in 2010, was pleased with the support he received but “kind of disappointed” more women weren’t chosen by Democratic voters when so many ran for at-large positions, he said.

“One sole woman on the Council is a little disconcerting,” he said, referring to Navarro, who was reelected to represent District 4.

The goal of Rice’s next term will be “to take ourselves up to the next level,” he said, adding that he plans to focus on expanding educational opportunities and “growing our economic base.”

Andrew Friedson, who has never held elected office, won the nomination for District 1 County Council member. COURTESY PHOTOAndrew Friedson, who has never held elected office, won the nomination for District 1 County Council member. COURTESY PHOTONavarro, who easily defeated Jay Graney, said Tuesday night that due to term limits this will be her last term. She will have seniority and plans to take an active leadership role.

Her main emphasis will be to finish projects that are underway in her district. Countywide, she hopes to “expand our tax base.”

She, too, was disappointed voters didn’t choose more female candidates for the Council.

“In so many ways, it’s unfortunate,” she said, adding she would “definitely do my best” to represent women and all the people of the County.

Hucker celebrated his victory in District 5 over fellow Democrats Kevin Harris and Kenge Malikidogo-Fludd at Kaldi’s Social House in Silver Spring. Hucker was elected to the Council in 2014 after serving as a state delegate for almost 10 years.

Proud of his efforts this term to help shrink class sizes in County schools and bring the Purple Line to fruition, Hucker said he planned more work on the same issues for his next term, if elected in November.

Claiming to have worked to bring the Purple Line to fruition “for at least 15 years,” Hucker said he will continue to make sure it gets done “on time and on budget” and with minimal impact to area businesses and homeowners.

It’s important to help the small business owners, he said, adding, “Democrats need to get focused on helping businesses succeed.”

U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin, who was victorious in the primary election to run for another term in Congress, also stopped by the rooftop party at Kaldis, noting this was where he got his political start.

He called himself “a candidate for all seasons,” referring to his opponent, Summer Spring.

“These are tough times in the Congress,” he said, adding he planned to work hard “to take America back. We’ve got to take Congress back. We are in the fight of our lives.”

Rather than pause to celebrate his and his fellow candidates’ success, Raskin got right to work and invited them to a vigil to reunify children with their parents that he was organizing in Silver Spring Friday night.

“If we do our job, we are gong to take America back.”

Also victorious was Friedson, who has never held elected office, and beat out seven other candidates in District 1, including State Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez and former Kensington Mayor Peter Fosselman.

Friedson credited his win to hardworking volunteers who knocked on every door in the District while also knowing how best to use social media.

“It was a tough race,” he said.

Throughout his campaign, Friedson stressed the slogan, “Beat the Squeeze,” referring to how families were having trouble affording to live in the County, which was struggling to keep up its reputation of great schools and a great place to live.

“Our economy isn’t growing” and that is causing a lot of problems, he said.

“We need to recognize our County is changing,” and is becoming an “increasingly global community.”

In District 3, incumbent Katz defeated Ben Shnider by a few hundred votes. While the margin was tight, Katz was pleased that he earned about 10 percent more of the vote than he did during his last election.

“We certainly did better, and for that, I am very grateful and very humble,” he said.

His main emphasis in the upcoming term will be to decrease the County debt. If debt were a County department, it would be the third largest department, he said.

“We need to correct that” while at the same time properly funding education, transportation and public safety, he said.

@SuzannePollak

 

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