Rockville officials: Too early to think about 2015 race -- Gazette.Net







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The election of the next Rockville mayor and city council will mark the city’s switch from two-year to four-year terms. More than a year before the city’s next election, the current officeholders say they haven’t given much thought to whether they’ll run for seats with longer terms.

“In my opinion, it is way too early to start thinking about the next election,” Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton said.

With more than 16 months before the city’s November 2015 municipal election, Newton said she and the council need to be focused on the city’s needs and how to advance the city’s interests.

Newton said she has traditionally announced her intentions around Labor Day weekend in the year of the election, then run for the two months leading up to Election Day.

Councilwomen Virginia Onley and Beryl L. Feinberg said they’ve given some preliminary thought to running again, but neither has made a decision.

Onley said her campaign team has been after her about having a meeting to talk about re-election and she doesn’t know what would make her decide not to run.

Onley announced immediately after losing a close council election in 2011 that she would run in 2013 and spent the next two years discussing her candidacy, she said.

Election talk usually heats up in the spring of an election year, Onley said.

In 2013, Onley, Feinberg and fellow council members Tom Moore and Julie Palakovich Carr ran on a Team Rockville slate with former council member Mark Pierzchala, who was seeking the mayor’s seat.

That group started campaigning in March 2013, but that was a special circumstance because Onley, Feinberg and Palakovich Carr weren’t on the council at the time, so the slate felt it needed more time to reach people, Moore said.

Like Newton, Moore said the mayor and council have other business to get done before their thoughts turn to re-election.

Moore said he was still “dusting myself off” after losing a District 3 County Council race to Gaithersburg Mayor Sidney Katz in the June 24 Democratic primary and hasn’t given any thought to 2015.

Feinberg said she’s “favorably inclined” to seek re-election, but won’t make a final decision until early 2015.

Among politically engaged people in the city, conversations about who will run and who won’t are ongoing, she said.

Lots of things can change in the more than a year until the election, Palakovich Carr said.

It’s still so early in the term, she hasn’t thought about re-election, she said.

“Ask me again in the spring,” she said.