Two Montgomery County Board of Education members are considering a run for County Council seats in 2022.
Rebecca Smondrowski, a school board member since 2012, confirmed to Bethesda Beat this week that she is contemplating a council campaign, but has not ruled out running for other offices or sticking with her board seat.
Shebra Evans, a Silver Spring resident in her second term on the school board, said in a separate interview that she is “strongly considering” a council run, but she has not made a decision.
Smondrowski and Evans are both registered Democrats, though school board elections are nonpartisan.
Both were re-elected to four-year terms on the school board in November 2020. If either or both were elected to the council, their vacated seats would be filled by a “qualified individual” chosen by the remaining members, according to the board’s handbook.
“I’ve been humbled by the encouragement to pursue new opportunities that would best serve our county,” Smondrowski said in an interview on Thursday. “After an unprecedented year of unthinkable challenges, it’s clear we need leaders at every level of government in Montgomery County willing to challenge the status quo and speak up for children and families. … I’m looking at different ways I might be able to do that.”
Smondrowski, a Gaithersburg resident, was first elected to the school board in 2012 after working as a legislative aide for state Sen. Roger Manno. In 2018, she ran unsuccessfully for a District 17 state delegate seat, one year into her second term on the school board.
Evans, of Silver Spring, served two consecutive years as the school board’s president and has been on the board since 2016.
She previously was a financial analyst in the cable and energy industry, according to her profile in the MCPS website.
In 2014, Evans ran unsuccessfully for an at-large seat on the school board, losing to Jill Ortman-Fouse. She ran again in 2016 for the District 4 seat, vacated by Chris Barclay, and won.
She declined to comment further on Thursday.
Both Evans and Smondrowski comfortably won their re-election campaigns to the school board in 2020.
Three Montgomery County Council members are term-limited and cannot run for re-election: At-large member Hans Riemer, District 2 member Craig Rice and District 4 member Nancy Navarro.
The three other at-large members — Gabe Albornoz, Evan Glass and Will Jawando — told Bethesda Beat in March that they plan to run for re-election, as did District 3 member Sidney Katz.
Tom Hucker, who represents District 5, has declined to comment on whether he would run again, and District 1 member Andrew Friedson has said he had not made any final decisions.
As of Thursday afternoon, three people had filed to run for an at-large council seat (Brandy Brooks, Kim Kellerman and Christa Tichy), and one person had filed for the District 4 seat (Natali Fani Gonzalez).
Marilyn Balcombe has said she is running for the District 2 seat.
The filing deadline for candidates in all races is 9 p.m. on Feb. 22.
The County Council is going to expand by two seats starting in 2022. Voters in the 2020 general election approved adding two more district seats, giving the council seven seats by district and four at-large.
To determine how the county will be redistricted, an 11-member commission was appointed in late January. The commission is scheduled to provide a plan and report by Nov. 15.
Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at email@example.com