Open Montgomery County Council seats draw contenders -- Gazette.Net


The soon-to-be-open County Council seats in two Montgomery County districts continue to draw interest from a number of potential candidates as the races take shape before the February filing deadline.

Gaithersburg Mayor Sidney A. Katz will seek the District 3 seat now held by Councilman Philip M. Andrews of Gaithersburg, who has filed to run for county executive in 2014.

Katz said Thursday that increasing support in the community, in phone calls and informal meetings with people in Gaithersburg, have led to his desire to run.

“When I started to look into [running], the more I looked into it the more interested I became,” Katz said. “Once my announcement made the papers, I started getting even more and more calls. I was in the grocery store yesterday, and somebody mentioned that they hoped I would run.”

Katz served on the Gaithersburg City Council from 1978 until 1998, when he was appointed mayor following the death of then-Mayor W. Edward Bohrer Jr.

He won re-election as mayor in November.

Gaithersburg City Councilman Ryan Spiegel announced in December that he also will seek the District 3 seat.

Spiegel was elected to the Gaithersburg council in 2007 and was re-elected in 2011. His term ends in November 2015.

Both Katz and Spiegel could face competition from Rockville City Councilman Tom Moore, who expects to make a decision on whether to run within the next week or so.

Moore, who began his second term on the Rockville council in November, said Thursday that he started to seriously consider a run for the District 3 seat after former Rockville Mayor Rose Krasnow decided not to run.

Councilwoman Valerie Ervin’s announcement in December that she would resign her District 5 County Council seat on Friday to become the executive director of a New York-based nonprofit also leaves her seat open.

Council President Craig L. Rice (D-Dist. 2) has said the council hopes to appoint someone by the end of January to serve the remaining 11 months of Ervin’s term, but is looking for someone who will not seek a full term in 2014.

Evan Glass, chairman of the Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board, has declared his intention to seek the District 5 seat in 2014, while Del. Tom Hucker (D-Dist. 20) of Silver Spring and Board of Education member Christopher S. Barclay also have expressed interest in running.

Barclay said Thursday he expects to make a decision in the coming days, but is “definitely leaning” toward running for the seat.

Hucker could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Takoma Park resident and community activist Terrill North announced on Tuesday that he plans to seek Ervin’s seat.

North said he would like to use his position to better coordinate groups who are working to help the county’s residents.

While no candidates have filed officially to run in either council district as of Thursday afternoon, both races could continue to draw candidates until the Feb. 25 filing deadline.

Councilman Marc Elrich (D-At Large) of Takoma Park, who lives in District 5, said Thursday he’s curious to see who gets into that race and what qualities the various candidates can bring to the table.

Staff Writer Elizabeth Waibel contributed to this report.