With about five weeks to go before the Democratic Primary on June 26, the six Democratic candidates for County Executive have made their pitch to a wide variety of voter interests and constituent groups as they each tried to set him or herself apart in the field.
On Monday, Jewish voters had their turn to listen to and weigh in on the debate as the six Democratic candidates for County Executive gathered for another forum, this time at Kol Shalom in Rockville. The issues ranged from the rise in hate crimes and security to the County’s economy, with the candidates rehashing debates and making attempts to appeal to Jewish voters.
For months a new face has appeared on television airwaves, on banner ads for websites, at Metro stops, and commercials on YouTube.
While admittedly an unknown six months ago when he entered the race for Montgomery County Executive, businessman David Blair has used his own money to fund an advertisement blitz six weeks away from June 26 Democratic Primary.
Blair, who served as chair of Accountable Health Solutions before he decided to run for County Executive, has used online and traditional marketing to help bring his name recognition to voters in the County, including a commercial of him standing outside the White House saying while he is a rich businessman with no experience in elected office, he is the “opposite of the Donald Trump.”
“Montgomery County is still an amazing place to live, but we’re slipping in certain areas,” Blair said.
SILVER SPRING — With three months to go before the June 26 primary, the six candidates had another chance in front of a crowd of 300 people at the Silver Spring Civic Center to clarify why they should replace the term-limited County Executive Isiah Leggett as the occupant of the highest office in Montgomery County.
Former Rockville mayor Rose Krasnow, local businessman David Blair, Del. Bill Frick, County Council members Roger Berliner, George Leventhal and Marc Elrich each made his or her case.
Krasnow explained why voters should choose her for County Executive
“I have a track record of getting things done,” said Krasnow – the only woman in the race – in response to a question from Takoma Park Mayor Kate Stewart. “I do have governmental executive experience … and I learned when I went from being on the City Council of Rockville to mayor that it is very different being in that executive position.”
While there wasn’t much daylight between the candidates on most issues at the forum, which was hosted by the Women’s Democratic Club of Montgomery County, some indicated they had disagreements on some financial matters and on reforming the County’s liquor retail monopoly.
SILVER SPRING — In what has become a weekly ritual as the June primary draws closer, five of the Democratic candidates running for County Executive gathered at the Silver Spring Civic Center for yet another candidate forum.
The Latino Democratic Club of Montgomery County hosted the forum, which was moderated by WAMU reporter Armando Trull. Appropriately enough, the discussion revolved mostly around issues important to the County’s largest Latino population. Candidates in attendance included Council members Roger Berliner, Marc Elrich and George Leventhal, former Rockville Mayor Rose Krasnow and businessman David Blair. Delegate Bill Frick was the lone candidate to not attend, as he was in Annapolis fulfilling his duties as a state delegate.
SILVER SPRING — If any of the 300 spectators who arrived at the Northwood High School gymnasium for Sunday’s County Executive candidate forum hoped one of the candidates in attendance would distinguish themselves from the crowded field, they probably left the three-hour event disappointed.
Seven candidates are vying to replace Democrat Isiah Leggett as County Executive, who became term-limited in 2016 after voters approved a ballot initiative championed by attorney, activist and perennial candidate Robin Ficker, the sole Republican in this year’s race.
Despite optimistic talk of how more and more homeless people were moving into permanent housing, the tenor of Monday night’s community dialogue on homelessness changed when about 15 homeless people entered the meeting in the Silver Spring Civic Building and disputed how well the County is handling its homeless population.
“Morally it’s wrong to say you have compassion, and you don’t,” said Sharetha Wilson, who recently moved into her own place after four years living on the street.
“You say you have compassion, but you pass us on your way,” she told the packed meeting room. “If you see us on the streets, if you see us in church, why not say, ‘How can I help you?’” she asked. “You all snub your noses.”
While the venerable Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Baily Circus lowered the curtain its last show earlier this year following years of protests by animal rights groups, a proposed County bill could prevent any remaining traditional circus from operating in Montgomery County.
On Nov. 9, the Montgomery County Council Public Safety Committee recommended adoption of Bill 23-17, which would prohibit circuses and other traveling shows from using many species of animals as performers in Montgomery County.
Leventhal said the bill is meant to prohibit traveling circus animals and exempts animals that are used as livestock or for agricultural purposes.
ROCKVILLE – The minimum wage in Montgomery County Council will soon begin a slow rise from its current level of $11.50 per hour to an eventual $15 an hour, ending a year filled with debate, endless amendments and compromise upon compromise among members of the Montgomery County Council, which voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve Bill 18-27.
The bill now heads to the desk of County Executive Isiah Leggett (D), who in January vetoed a prior attempt by the Council to pass a minimum wage bill, but said in a statement Tuesday that he plans on signing the revised legislation.
“Based on the changes from the original bill, what the County Council approved today is close enough to the conditions I laid down for my support that I will sign the measure into law,” Leggett said.
Incremental change is the centerpiece of the bill, which will require employers to incrementally increase their minimum wage to $15 per hour over the course of the next six years.
The Montgomery County Council unanimously approved a bill Tuesday that will create a catalogue of burial sites in the County.
The bill specifically requires the County Planning Board to create and update a list of burial sites within the County.
“It’s part of our heritage and our history here in Montgomery County, to try and make sure we can identify as many of these sites as possible and ensure that they’re there for people to appreciate,” said Council member Craig Rice (D-2).