Incumbents Retain MoCo Council Seats
By Kevin O’Rourke
While the national news is trumpeting the victories of Republicans in Congressional, Senate, and Governors’ races around the country, Montgomery County remains a staunchly Democratic haven, with every Democratic candidate winning office or collecting the majority of votes in the county.
While Republican Governor-Elect Larry Hogan earned a statewide victory, he did not carry Montgomery County. Hogan earned only 90,620 MoCo votes to Lt. Governor Anthony Brown’s 151,515 votes in the county.
Meanwhile, the race for the Maryland Sixth District Congressional Representative, which includes all of the Germantown area, between incumbent Democrat Congressman John Delaney and Republican challenger, former secret service agent, Dan Bongino remains too close to call at 12:30 pm on Thursday, with less than 3,000 votes separating the two candidates. Delaney currently holds a lead, as elections officials talley absentee ballots. In Montgomery County Bongino received 29,710 votes or 36.45 percent, to Delany's 50,027 votes or 61.38 percent.
Germantown area voters affirmed their faith in the current all-Democrat make-up of the County Council this week with the re-election of County Executive Ike Leggett, District 2 Council Member Craig Rice, and all four At-Large Council Members.
Leggett easily defeated Republican challenger Jim Shalleck for County Executive. Leggett garnered 65 percent of the votes to Shalleck’s 34 percent, according the Maryland State Board of Elections website.
For the District 2 Council seat, which represents Germantown and up-county areas, incumbent Craig Rice defeated Darnestown businessman Dick Jurgena. Rice earned 24,348 total votes of 59.65 percent to Jurgena’s 16,418 total votes, or 40.22 percent.
In the race for the four At-Large seats on the County Council, all four down-county based incumbent Democrats earned re-election. Former MCPS school teacher and Takoma Park resident Marc Erlich was the top vote getter with 149,612 or 17.12 percent of the votes. Erlich will begin his third term on the County Council.
County Council veteran and Garrett Park resident Nancy Floreen garnered the second hightest total votes with 147,705 or 16.91 percent. She will serve her fourth term on the County Council.
Montgomery County Democratic Party chairman and Takoma Park resident George Leventhal garnered 140,165 votes or 16.04 percent to win his fourth term on the County Council. Leventhal, who is a huge proponent of the proposed Purple Line, and will be at odds with Governor-Elect Hogan, who had previously said he was opposed to the State funding of the modern light rail project. Leventhal said on his Twitter account on Wednesday, “Congratulations to Gov-Elect Larry Hogan, who ran a very effective campaign. I wish him well and look forward to working with him.”
Fellow Takoma Park resident Hans Riemer won his second term on the County Council 132,818 votes or 15.2 percent.
Among the Republican challengers for the At-Large seats on the County Council Shelly Skolnick, of Silver Spring earned the most votes with 76,010 or 8.7 percent. He is followed by Bethesda’s Robert Dyer with 75,404 votes or 8.63 percent. Gaithersburg businessman Chris Fiotes earned just 68,179 votes or 7.8 percent and Adol T. Owen-Williams II garnered just 62,227 votes of 7.12 percent. The Green Party’s Tim Willard earned just 20,836 votes or 2.38 percent of the votes in Montgomery County.
Board of Education Races
Germantown is divided into two districts for representatives on the Board of Education. District 1 which includes all the areas of Germantown north of the MARC railroad tracks and all up-county areas including Poolesville, Laytonsville, and Barnesville.
The Board of Education District 1 election was a race between two-term incumbent Dr. Judy Docca, who garnered 90,927 votes or 54.66 percent and Kristin C. Trible who received 74,759 votes of 44.94 percent.
Board of Education District 2, includes Germantown areas south of the MARC railroad tracks and Darnestown, Gaithersburg and parts of Rockville, and is represented by Rebecca Smondrowski. The District 2 seat was not up for election in this election cycle.
In what was a tightly contested race for the at-large seat, Jill Ortman-Fouse, bested Shebra Evans, 51 percent to 48 percent in Tuesday’s voting for the seat being vacated by current school board at-large member Shirley Brandman. Ortman-Fouse received 88,748 votes to Evans’ 83,081 votes.
State House Races
The Democrats continued their Montgomery County dominance with victories in all four Germantown area State Legislative races.
In District 15 Democratic incumbents Kathleen Dumais, David Fraser-Hidalgo, and Aruna Miller won relection with Dumais garnering 20.81 percent of the votes. They defeated Republican challengers Ed Edmundson, Flynn Ficker, and Christine Thron.
Dumais received 17,730 votes, Miller received 16,804 votes, and Fraser-Hidalgo received 16,141 votes. Among the Republicans Ed Edmundson received the most with 11,701, followed by Christine Thron with 11,596, and Ficker received 11,132 votes in Tuesday’s election.
In the race for District 15 State Senator, Brian J. Feldman defeated Robin Ficker, receiving 18,538 votes to Ficker’s 11,741 votes.
In District 39 Democratic incumbents Charles Barkley, Kirill Reznik, and Shane Robinson defeated Republican challengers Gloria Chang, Xiangfei Cheng, and Al Phillips.
Barkley garnered 14,444 votes to lead all vote getters, followed by Robinson with 13,417, and Reznik with 13,076. Among Republican challengers Gloria Chang lead with 7,676 votes, Al Phillips received 7,151 votes and Xiangfei Cheng garnered 6,961 votes.
Residents of Montgomery County overwhelmingly approved a charter amendment requiring a councilmember to live in the District in which he represents, with 94.25 percent of voters approving the change.