Nine Candidates Vying for At-Large County Council Seats
By Kevin O’Rourke
Nine candidates are vying for the at-large seats on the Montgomery County Council this year. The Council is made up of nine members, of which five represent the each of the five districts in the county. Those members are elected by their districts. The remaining four members are elected as at-large members. At-large members are elected by and represent all of the residents in the county.
Germantown is represented by District 2 Council Member and current County Council President Craig Rice, whose term as Council President will end when a newly elected council takes office on Dec. 2.
At an up-county town hall meeting in Clarksburg on Oct. 8, County Council President and Germantown resident Craig Rice, spoke about the importance of the at-large council seats. He responded to a question about the upcounty area being under-represented on the council. He said, “All four at-large members partnering with any district council member can create a majority. Right now, the majority of the four at-large council members live within a five mile radius of each other in the Takoma Park/Silver Spring area.”
“Many people in the up-county area have said that we need more at-large members on the Council that are actually from the up-county area, or even the mid-county area,” said Rice, who is also up for re-election this year. In the Germantown area the race for the District 2 Council Seat, is between Craig Rice (D), of Germantown and Dick Jurgena (R), of Darnestown.
“The at-large members have a responsibility to you just as they have a responsibility to whichever area of the county they live in,” Rice told residents gathered at Rocky Hill Middle School in Clarksburg. “They have a responsibility to be up here at meetings, they have a responsibility to be responsive to any needs that you ask them to address. I would ask you to push them to be your representatives, because they are your representatives. They need to be advocating for you as well.”
All members of the County Council serve four-year terms and are elected every four years. Democratic candidates currently hold all nine seats on the County Council.