A Maryland assistant attorney general and a paralegal for Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have launched campaigns for district seats on the County Council in 2022.
Dawn Luedtke of Ashton, an assistant attorney general, expects to be running in a new district that hasn’t formally been approved.
She currently falls into District 4. A new proposed map from the county’s redistricting commission, however, would move her into another district, because voters approved a ballot question in November 2020, expanding the County Council from five to seven districts.
Luedtke, a Democrat, said in an interview Thursday that she was planning for months on running, but a joint replacement surgery on her foot in May and follow-up procedures delayed her announcement.
William “Chip” Montier, a paralegal for Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and business analyst, has filed to run in District 5. His address on his campaign filing would put him in a new district spanning from White Oak to Burtonsville, not including Takoma Park or Silver Spring.
His mailing address lists Silver Spring, but it is actually in Fairland.
Montier, a Democrat, wrote in a text message on Thursday that he wasn’t available for an interview.
Luedtke’s work in the attorney general’s office covers a wide array of areas. She said her “three official client entities” are: the Maryland Center for School Safety, the Maryland Longitudinal Data System Center and the Active Assailant Interdisciplinary Work Group.
She also works on other issues internally within the attorney’s general office, including those involving hate crime. Luedtke provides legal support for the state’s Department of Emergency Management.
Luedtke is the wife of Del. Eric Luedtke (D-Ashton), the majority leader in the House of Delegates in Annapolis.
She said one reason she decided to run was because many neighbors and friends felt she would provide the district with more of a voice on the County Council.
Currently, Luedtke would run in a northeastern district that spans from Ashton up to Damascus, and spans from Montgomery Village over to the northeastern border.
The county’s redistricting commission sent over a final proposed map to the County Council, which has yet to decide on the new districts.
Luedtke said transparency and open government, along with a need for better constituent services in her area of the county, are some areas she’ll focus on in the campaign.
“It’s the lack of connectivity within the communities, where we have sidewalks and they stop, and then sidewalks, and then they stop,” she said. “There are some issues very locally, literally right down the street from me, related to traffic and congestion and speeding … and how that impacts schoolchildren, who are waiting for the bus.”
Luedtke, who has worked in the attorney general’s office since December 2013, said she looks forward to meeting more people on the campaign trail. If elected, she said, she is interested in dealing more directly with policy issues affecting Montgomery County.
“I don’t view these things in a silo, and that’s part of the fact that I do multidisciplinary work [in the attorney general’s office],” Luedtke said of county issues. “There’s stakeholders from different perspectives working together to make a decision.”
Luedtke and Montier join an increasingly crowded race for local elections in 2022.
County voters approved a ballot issue in November 2020 that increases the number of council districts from five to seven, and the overall number of council seats from nine to 11.
District lines will likely change for many, if not all, council districts, with the addition of two district seats. Four at-large seats serving the entire county will remain.
Here is a look of candidates and those interested in local races next year:
- Council Member Andrew Friedson, a Democrat, announced he is seeking re-election to his current seat
- Attorney Williams Roberts announced he is running. Marilyn Balcombe, a Democrat, announced her candidacy in April. Incumbent Craig Rice, a Democrat, is term-limited.
- Council Member Sidney Katz, a Democrat, has said he plans to run again for this seat.
- Council Member Nancy Navarro, a Democrat, is term-limited and is running for lieutenant governor on a ticket with former Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker.
Five candidates for County Council District 4, all Democrats, are:
- Luedtke, who understands she will likely be running for a different district than District 4
- Natali Fani González, a former member of the county’s Planning Board and a business/PR consultant
- Omar Lazo, co-owner of Los Chorros Restaurant in Wheaton
- Maricé Morales, an attorney and former state delegate
- Paul Schwartz, a former columnist for the Sentinel newspapers and currently a lobbyist in Annapolis, focusing on representing current and retired federal employees
- County Council President Tom Hucker, a Democrat, has said he is exploring a run for county executive, but has not ruled out running for re-election. Montier has filed for this seat, but could end up running in a different district once the new council map is finalized.
Democrat Fatmata Barrie, a White Oak resident and attorney, is running for a district seat, which currently would be this one.
Brian Anleu, a Democrat who is chief of staff to the county’s Planning Board, initially said he wanted to see what Hucker decides to do. This week, however, Anleu said that after seeing the proposed new map, he is considering a candidacy in the East County district and expects to decide next month.
Multiple Democrats have either filed, announced or shown interest. The candidates who have filed are:
- Council Member Gabe Albornoz
- Council Member Evan Glass
- Scott Goldberg, an attorney and member of the county’s Democratic Central Committee
- Kim Kellerman of Poolesville, a mother of four
- Laurie-Anne Sayles, a Gaithersburg City Council member and Food and Drug Administration employee
- Brandy Brooks of Wheaton, an education and nonprofit leader
- Christa Tichy of Rockville, who works in construction.
Council Member Will Jawando and Kristin Mink have both announced they’re running. Mink, a former Montgomery County Public Schools teacher, works at The Center for Popular Democracy.
Neil Harris, a Gaithersburg City Council member, has filed his intent to use the county’s public election fund in an at-large race. However, he wrote in an email to Bethesda Beat earlier this week that because of a “personal situation,” it is unlikely he will run next year.
“I will keep my options open, but, being realistic, I have to consider the likelihood that I will go forward to be doubtful,” Harris wrote.
- Incumbent Marc Elrich, At-Large Council Member Hans Riemer and businessman David Blair, all Democrats, have all said they’re running.
Hucker has expressed interest in the seat, as has Devin Battley, a former motorcycle shop owner in Gaithersburg. Both Hucker and Battley are Democrats.
The filing deadline for next year’s elections is Feb. 22. The primary election is scheduled for June 28, and the general election is set for Nov. 8.
Steve Bohnel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org