Field to succeed Ervin is in flux -- Gazette.Net


At least two Montgomery County elected officials said they are considering running next year to replace County Councilwoman Valerie Ervin, following her announcement Tuesday that she’ll leave her seat in January.

Both Del. Tom Hucker (D-Dist. 20) of Silver Spring and Board of Education member Christopher S. Barclay confirmed that they are interested.

Meanwhile, the rest of the council is considering whether to fill Ervin’s seat for the next year with someone who would not run for election after that.

Ervin (D-Dist. 5) of Silver Spring will resign Jan. 3 to become executive director of the New York-based Center for Working Families, a nonprofit advocacy organization.

The County Council will have 30 days from Ervin’s resignation to choose someone to fill the seat for the rest of her four-year term, which expires Dec. 1, 2014.

Ervin said Thursday she has a person in mind who she’d like to see serve the rest of her term, but will hold off on announcing who it is until some details can be worked out.

Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee Chairman Gabriel Albornoz said he expects the race to fill the seat for a full term next year to attract plenty of interest.

Ervin’s announcement comes early enough for people to organize a credible campaign for the June 24, 2014, Democratic primary, Albornoz said.

Hucker said Thursday he’s considering running for the seat, which would mean leaving his seat in the House of Delegates.

Hucker said he loves being in the House, but the chance to serve on the council is an important opportunity.

“I’m trying to give it the consideration it deserves,” Hucker said.

He filed in October to seek re-election as delegate.

Barclay said he’s “definitely interested” in taking Ervin’s spot on the council.

“I have a few more decisions to make, but we’ll see in the near future,” he said.

Barclay said that if he joined the County Council, he would want to continue his work for children and families and surround families with the county government resources they need.

A move from the school board to the County Council would not stop his commitment to education, he said.

Barclay said he is close friends with Ervin and will keep in touch with her as she moves on to her new position.

Barclay served one year as president of the school board. On Thursday, the board selected Phil Kaufman as its new president.

The Board of Education has been a springboard for political candidates in the past, including Ervin and Councilwoman Nancy Navarro (D-Dist. 4) of Silver Spring, Sen. Nancy King (D-Dist. 39) of Montgomery Village and Del. Ana Sol Gutierrez (D-Dist. 18) of Chevy Chase. Former council members Marilyn Praisner and Blair Ewing also served on the school board first.

Evan Glass, chairman of the Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board, announced in November that he planned to run for Ervin’s seat.

Some of the discussion since Ervin’s announcement has centered on who the council would choose to serve out the remainder of her term.

Council President Craig Rice (D-Dist. 2) of Germantown said in a press release Wednesday that the council intends to appoint someone who does not intend to run for election to a full term in 2014.

According to the county charter, the appointee must be of the same political party as Ervin and live in the same district.

Rice said Thursday that the council hadn’t decided on the process for appointing Ervin’s successor, but it probably will ask for a resume and cover letter, then interview the final candidates.

Council Vice President George Leventhal (D-At Large) of Takoma Park said he would be fine with appointing someone who agreed not to seek a full term, but he wouldn’t have required it to avoid potentially limiting the pool of appointees.

Ervin said Thursday she’s thought long and hard about who she’d like to replace her and has someone in mind, but feels it would be premature to announce who it is because that person hasn’t resolved the issue with their employer yet.

Rice said he hopes the appointee would be able to take the same committee assignments as Ervin, who chaired the council’s Education Committee and served on the Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee. The appointee would likely become a member of the Education Committee, while he or Councilman Phil Andrews (D-Dist. 3) of Gaithersburg would become chairman, Rice said.

Leventhal lives in District 5, along with fellow at-large Councilmen Hans Riemer (D) and Marc Elrich (D).

All three said Thursday they haven’t given any consideration to running for the district seat rather than an at-large council seat.

“I like having the broad view of what’s going on around the county,” Elrich said.

Staff Writer Lindsay A. Powers contributed to this story