Cherri Branson named newest Montgomery council member -- Gazette.Net


Silver Spring resident Cherri Branson will serve out the remainder of former Councilwoman Valerie Ervin’s term on the Montgomery County Council after being unanimously chosen by the other councilmembers Tuesday.

The position opened up when Ervin resigned Jan. 3 to take a job as the chief executive of the Working Families Coalition, a New York nonprofit advocacy organization.

Branson is chief oversight counsel for the Committee on Homeland Security working for the committee’s ranking member, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.).

In a statement Tuesday, she said she was honored to be nominated, and pledged to work hard to represent the voters of District 5, which includes Silver Spring, Takoma Park and Burtonsville.

Branson said she was familiar with many of the issues facing the district, but would work to quickly get up to speed on other issues.

Branson will retain members of Ervin’s staff, who can help in her transition.

In an interview earlier this month, she said she thinks her experience as a congressional aide will help her get started quickly on the council.

It has also taught her the importance of compromise in getting things accomplished, she said.

Branson had previously served on the county’s Charter Review Commission and the Commission on Redistricting.

Branson was nominated by Councilwoman Nancy Navarro (D-Dist. 4) of Silver Spring, who said she thinks Branson would make an excellent addition to the council. Council Vice President George Leventhal (D-At large) of Takoma Park moved that the nomination be approved by acclamation, a suggestion the other council members supported.

Branson was one of 18 candidates who applied for the open seat, 14 of whom were interviewed by the council.

Councilman Hans Riemer (D-At large) of Takoma Park complimented the people who applied.

“It was really a testament to a great tradition of citizen engagement here in Montgomery County,” Riemer said.

Branson will serve out the remainder of Ervin’s term, which ends Dec. 1.

Candidates for the appointment were asked to agree not to run for re-election in November.

The race for the new term has drawn plenty of speculation among Montgomery political observers.

Silver Spring Democrat Jeffrey Thames was the only candidate to file as of Tuesday, according to the state Board of Elections.

Evan Glass, chairman of the Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board has expressed his intention to run, while Del. Tom Hucker (D-Dist. 20) of Silver Spring and Board of Education member Christopher S. Barclay are among those who have said they’re considering running for the seat.