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Wednesday, April 23, 2014 11:30 PM

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Leggett explains his motives, goals for a third term


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Published on: Thursday, June 20, 2013

By Donna Broadway

ROCKVILLE – It’s official: After months of uncertainty, County Executive Ike Leggett declared his intentions to run for reelection on June 11 with a letter posted on his personal website.

Leggett said he reached his decision just weeks ago after the budget hearings and General Assembly session ended.

In making his decision, Leggett considered things that were accomplished, things that need to be accomplished, those who wanted him to run, his daily responsibilities and his family situation.

Leggett has previously said he would not seek reelection, and his wife of 24 years, Catherine, among other things, was the main reason he would not seek reelection.

Leggett helped his wife warm up to the idea of running for a third term by taking her on a six-day vacation to Jamaica, where he gave her a very nice wedding gift before asking her about seeking reelection, he said. She changed her answer to the affirmative.

“My wife was a little bit reluctant about it, but she eventually came around because I think she recognized there was some unfinished business and that I really wanted to do it. In many ways, it has been a team effort,” Leggett said. “She is a very strong, independent, capable person in her own right. She is an attorney by trade and vice president of an organization in D.C., a full time job, but even before we married and I became county executive, she was involved in a large number of nonprofit organizations in and around the D.C. area. I think me being a county executive has simply allowed her to get a little bit more active in things she was already doing.”

Leggett is not the only elected official in the race. Former three-term County Executive Doug Duncan declared his intention to run in November 2012, and Councilman Phil Andrews filed for candidacy in April. Leggett said Duncan running was not a factor in his decision, and though Duncan spoke to Leggett about his intentions to run, the two have not spoken since Leggett declared his intentions. No republicans have declared their candidacies or intentions to run in the race.

“It was based on what I can do and whether or not I want to continue to serve and whether or not the citizens of Montgomery County would be responsive to that. Whoever else runs, and there may be other people in the race, is not a factor or had a major impact on my decision,” Leggett said. “I look at it as what am I offering, and I will simply explain that in a positive message and let the citizens decide.”

State Del. Benjamin Kramer, who had considered running for county executive, will run for reelection as a delegate, and he gave Leggett his endorsement. Kramer, who said he considers both Duncan and Leggett friends, wished Duncan the best in the race but said Leggett’s ability to lead the county during the recession earned his support.  Though he will not be running for county executive in the 2014 race, Kramer did not rule out the possibility of running for the position in 2018.

“I understand his desire to seek reelection. I believe that voters will be supportive and will believe that he has earned another term as the county executive based on his performance the past eight years,” Kramer said. “I am confident that he will be successful.”

Leggett said it is highly unlikely he would seek a fourth term.

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