State Del. Marc Korman (D-Bethesda) announced Wednesday he will not run for Montgomery County Council in 2018—a move that eliminates one experienced possible candidate from what’s expected to be a crowded field for the District 1 seat being vacated by Roger Berliner, who must leave office due to term limits on council members.
“I really like the House,” Korman said in an interview. “I also like my day job.”
Korman works as an attorney at the Washington, D.C, law firm Sidley Austin LLP, a job he noted he would have to give up if he won the full-time council seat.
Korman said in a video announcement posted to YouTube that rather than run for council he would seek reelection in 2018 as the District 16 representative for Bethesda and Chevy Chase. He said he would like to continue his efforts on the state level to improve Metro, ease traffic congestion, lobby for education funding and protect the environment.
“After much thought and discussion with my family I’ve decided to instead try to continue my efforts on these issues at the state level,” Korman said. “For now I expect to ask the voters of District 16 for another four years as your delegate.”
Korman said it was too early to back any other candidate who may run for the District 1 council seat, as several candidates who could run have not formally announced their candidacy.
“It’s such a high talent area, I expect it’s going to be an exciting field,” Korman said.
Korman was one of several state delegates who said in December they were considering a run for County Council in 2018 when there will be four open seats after voters approved term limits for council members and the county executive in the November election. Council members Nancy Floreen, George Leventhal, Marc Elrich and Berliner will all have to step down in 2018 after serving three or more terms.
State representatives considering a run for the council in 2018 include Del. Charles Barkley (D-Montgomery Village), Del. Al Carr (D-Kensington) and Del. Ariana Kelly (D-Bethesda). Carr has expressed interest in the District 1 council seat. Lawmakers said benefits of the full-time council position include the ability to hire full-time staff and to have more impact as part of a nine-member council rather than a 141-member delegation.
Bethesda resident Andrew Friedson, a political strategist and senior adviser for state Comptroller Peter Franchot, said Wednesday he is “seriously weighing” a run for the council and is looking at the District 1 seat as well as an at-large seat.
State lawmakers may also be attracted to the council position because it pays significantly more—at $128,519 annually—than the state delegate salary of $46,915 in 2016. Korman said money was not a factor in his decision.