Rockville City Council member Julie Palakovich Carr filed her paperwork this week to run for District-17 in the Maryland House of Delegates.
Palakovich Carr, a two-term member on the Rockville City Council, said she wanted to run for state government because she believes she can have a greater impact on education, transportation and economic issues at the state level.
“I decided to run because I think it's important to be pushing progressive reforms in Annapolis,” Palakovich Carr said.
Among the issues she wants to push at the state level, Palakovich Carr said she wants to pass mandatory paid sick leave, improve state inspections for childcare centers and get more funding for public transit projects such as the County-proposed bus rapid transit projects on Rockville Pike, Viers Mill Road and Colesville Road.
Palakovich Carr, a public policy manager at the American Institute of Biological Sciences, was first elected to the Rockville City Council in 2013 as part of the progressive political-bloc Team Rockville. Palakovich Carr, who bills herself as a “policy wonk,” was a sponsor of the City’s Fostering Community Trust Ordinance which bars Rockville officials from helping to enforce federal immigration law.
“The City Council can only peripherally weigh in on those… where the state government has much more of a central role,” Palakovich Carr said.
The ordinance was a contentious issue for the mayor and City Council, with Rockville Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton claiming some of the supporters for the ordinance on the Council were doing so for “political” reasons.
Palakovich Carr is running for Maryland District-17, which covers Rockville and Gaithersburg, but she is not the only candidate running. Currently three state delegates represent District-17: Democrats Kumar Barve, James Gilchrist and Andrew Platt.
If Palakovich Carr does not win the Democratic Primary in June, she would still be eligible to run for reelection on the Rockville City Council.
Barve, a former congressional candidate, told the Sentinel he is running for reelection in 2018. Barve was first elected to the House of Delegates in 1990 and now serves as the chair of Environment and Transportation Committee.
Barve said the decision to run for reelection and not any other offices was an easy decision for him.
“I’m not eyeing any other office at this time,” Barve said.
Barve brands himself as a strong environmentalist, and takes credit for the state’s new ban on fracking, a bill on which Barve served as cosponsor.
"I'm the guy who banned fracking basically,” Barve said.
Maryland’s primary election is June 26, 2018. Gilchrist and Platt could not be reached to comment by publication time of this article.