Incumbent Councilmember Craig Rice easily won the Democratic nomination to seek a third and final term as the Council representative from District 2 in Tuesday’s primary election.
In November, Rice will face Republican challenger Ed Amatetti who defeated two other Republican hopefuls on Tuesday.
Rice, a Germantown resident, earned 73.5 percent of the votes for a total of 10,777 votes, in defeating challenger Tiquia J. Bennett who earned 3,881 votes or 26.5 percent. Rice is seeking his third term. He was first elected to the County Council in November 2010, becoming the youngest African American ever to serve on the nine-member Council. In December 2013, his colleagues elected him to a one-year term as president of the Council. In November 2014, he was re-elected to a second four-year term on the Council.
Rice chairs the Council’s Education Committee and also serves on its Health and Human Services Committee. In September 2016, he was named to the Maryland Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education (also known as The Kirwan Commission). He is currently leading the sub-committee for the Pre-Kindergarten program report due in the fall of 2018.
Amatetti is a former teacher and business consultant. The Gaithersburg resident ran for a Board of Education seat in 2014, where he garnered 17,426 votes in the 2014 primary election but fell short of the two top vote-getters Shebra Evans and the ultimate winner of that election, Jill Ortman-Fouse.
Amatetti garnered 1,639 or 52.4 percent of the Republican votes. His opponents, Tom Ferleman, a strategy consultant from Germantown and Kyle Sefcik, a business owner and fitness professional from Damascus. Ferleman garnered 797 votes, and Sefcik earned 545 votes in Tuesday’s Republican Primary.
When Amatetti announced his candidacy in February of 2017, he said he wanted to raise the profile of the UpCounty. “I am keenly aware that without your representative concentrating on you,” he said, “you have nothing because all the other eight council members are down south. And the current representative might as well be down south where his head is at. I am going to use my position to organize you politically, to make sure the county’s resources are turned toward you, and to get UpCounty residents appointed to commissions. You will feel like you are a part of Montgomery County.”
Amatetti’s campaign slogan is “Your Voice – Put Citizens Back in the Driver’s Seat.” To that end, if elected he hopes to give a voice to “people whose interests have been so long dismissed or viewed with alienation.” He wants to have more citizen input in the county government from the budget process to the policy decisions. “Giving those people an equal seat at the table in policy decisions, processes, and the budgeting process,” he said. “Right now when MCPS puts together its budget it has people from the unions and people from the Department of Education in the room. That is not a negotiation. That is a conspiracy.”
Rice and Amatetti will face off in the November general election.
Photos by Germantown Pulse.