Del. Bill Frick, left, and Rose Krasnow Credit: Campaign photos

Former Montgomery County deputy planning director Rose Krasnow defended herself Monday after Del. Bill Frick (D-Bethesda) claimed Friday he’d never heard of her on a radio show in one of the first dustups among candidates in the Montgomery County executive race.

On Friday afternoon, Frick appeared on “The Kojo Nnamdi Show’s” The Politics Hour with Nnamdi and resident political analyst Tom Sherwood. During the segment, Sherwood asked Frick if he was surprised that Krasnow, a former mayor of Rockville, was in the race.

“I had never heard her name before she announced as a candidate,” Frick, 43, said. “She hadn’t been in public life since the turn of the century. I really had not interacted with her. I’ve been a member of the legislature for 10 years and never encountered her.”

In a statement Krasnow sent to Sherwood that was shared with Bethesda Beat, she suggested, “Perhaps Mr. Frick’s dismissive remarks about me are a reflection of his attitude toward women.”

She elaborated during an interview Monday with Bethesda Beat. “I assume his comment about the turn of the century was trying to make me look old,” added Krasnow, 66. “I was in office until the end of ’01. It means I wasn’t an elected official yesterday, that’s definitely true … . The fact that he says he never heard of me, I think he’s spending too much time in Annapolis and he hasn’t been paying attention to what’s going on because one of the things I always say about the planning department is it’s one of the most political jobs around.”

On Monday, Frick responded by describing Krasnow’s allegation as “ridiculous and baseless.”

“I think that’s out of line,” Frick said. “I’ve been a feminist since I was old enough to pronounce the word. I have a 100 percent voting record and have been a strong leader on women’s issues.”

Frick and Krasnow are among the six Democratic candidates pursuing the county’s leadership post in the June 26 primary. The winner is expected to face Republican Robin Ficker in the general election.

Krasnow, 66, served as Rockville’s mayor from 1995 to 2001 and then worked for the county’s planning department for about 13 years before retiring at the end of last year. Krasnow was the last candidate to enter the race. She formally kicked off her campaign in December. She said at her campaign kickoff event she partly decided to enter the race because the other Democratic candidates were five white men.

During the radio show, Frick also said he didn’t believe voters wanted a former planning department official to lead the county.

“I’ve knocked on a lot of doors in Montgomery County and I’ve never heard someone say whoever’s in charge of the Planning Department should be in charge of the county,” Frick said. “That is not a sentiment I’ve ever heard.”

On the question of name recognition, Krasnow said she had seen polls conducted in the county that showed no one in the field was well known including the three sitting County Council members running for executive—George Leventhal, Roger Berliner and Marc Elrich. The sixth candidate is Potomac businessman David Blair.

“I, like many other people, had not heard of Bill Frick until I got into this race,” Krasnow said of Frick, who has served as the delegate from Bethesda-based District 16 since first being selected by the county’s Democratic Central Committee to replace Marilyn Goldwater in 2007. Last year, he was appointed House majority leader.

She noted she learned more about him from a 2007 blog post titled Who The Frick is Bill. “So I wouldn’t start talking about name recognition. I believe mine is much higher than his,” she said. “He has represented a fairly small district in Bethesda while I represented the entire city of Rockville.”

Frick is one of three delegates who represent District 16, which encompasses an area with a population of about 120,000 residents, while Rockville’s population is about 62,000.

Krasnow said working for the planning department gave her the opportunity to meet with residents throughout the county. She added that while many people don’t like development because they don’t like change, she’s proud of her work guiding development projects through the approval process and updating master plans.

“It’s something I’m very proud of,” Krasnow said. “Because A, if the county doesn’t grow, it stagnates. And B, if we want to have money to do all the different services and programs and wonderful things we do, then we better continue to grow or the residents will find their taxes continuing to go up.”