Blue and red text saying "2022 General Election Voters Guide" with an illustration of a hand putting paper into a ballot box

Democrat

Marilyn Balcombe

What office are you running for? County Council District 2

Political party: Democrat

Where you live: Germantown

Date of birth: August 13, 1957

Current occupation and employer:
CEO, Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce

Political experience:
I have not held public office in the past. I have been appointed to various county work groups and commissions throughout the years. I currently co-chair the Implementation Committee for the Great Seneca Science Corridor Master Plan.

Website:  www.MarilynBalcombe.com
Email:  marilyn@marilynbalcombe.com
Facebook:  Balcombe2022

Why are you running for this office?

Montgomery County has been my home for nearly 30 years. As a community leader I have worked diligently to make our community a better place to live. Through my work in civic organizations, county government and numerous non-profit organizations, I have been involved in a wide range of county and state issues. I want to make sure Montgomery County remains a fantastic place to work, live and raise a family. I am willing and able to roll up my sleeves and do the hard work it takes to make that happen.

What is the most important issue in this race and what specific plans do you have to address it?

Jobs must be the first priority. Without a strong tax base, Montgomery County cannot support our growing needs. We need to focus on recruitment of businesses to bring new, high-level jobs to the county. We also need to double our efforts in growing businesses we already have. We need to create a culture of “yes” and become a full partner with business to make sure that happens. With a background and experience in accounting and my role at the Chamber of Commerce, I’ve worked with thousands of businesses and will be a leader in economic development in the county.

What is one major issue that has been handled poorly and what would you have done differently?

Montgomery County prides itself on being an inclusive community and welcoming to all. However, we still have geographic divides such as Upcounty/Downcounty or East/West. Not all areas of the county receive the same level of service. Part of this is due to the evolution of where and when growth occurred. But it also has to do with civic and political advocacy. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, which leaves newer, less savvy communities lacking in resources they need to thrive. I am committed to ensuring Upcounty receives those resources and strengthening the civic and political advocacy for all our communities.

What experience (work, political or other) has prepared you to hold this office?

I’m an accountant with 35 years of experience, with a PhD in organizational psychology. I understand complex budgets and complex organizations. I’ve worked in private, government and non-profit sectors. As the CEO of the Chamber of Commerce, I have been actively working on planning, housing, transportation, economic development for over 15 years. As a community activist, I have successfully advocated for libraries, fire stations, parks, transportation projects, as well as opening BlackRock Center for the Arts. I’m known for my collaboration with various community partners, my ability to identify strategic solutions, and having a strong understanding of our county’s needs.


Republican

Dan Cuda

What office are you running for? County Council

Political party: Republican

Where you live: North Potomac

Date of birth: March 27, 1954

Current occupation and employer:
Adjunct Professor, George Mason University
Adjunct Staff, Institute for Defense Analyses
Lt. Colonel, USAF (Ret)

Political experience:
Montgomery County Republican Central Committee, 2014-2022

Website: https://dancudacouncil2.com
Email: DanCudaCouncil2@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dcuda76

Why are you running for this office?
Montgomery County is in a 15-year crisis of job growth. We are regionally uncompetitive relative to both the District and Northern Virginia; even Prince George’s County was recently awarded the new location of the U.S. Mint with $1.6 billion in new construction and 800-plus new jobs. We need a new voice on the council to change its priorities – all the problems in our county get better with local job growth.

What is the most important issue in this race and what specific plans do you have to address it?
The economic health of the county is its most important issue. In the long run, everything depends on local job growth – traffic on I-270 is reduced, crime is reduced, the tax base grows, funding for schools increases, housing prices are sustained and a public-private partnership for new housing becomes possible. The county needs a new relationship with its entrepreneurial community. With the cooperation of the new county executive and a majority of the council we need a top-to-bottom review of county regulations that are driving away jobs and business. The county economy must be priority No. 1.

What is one major issue that has been handled poorly and what would you have done differently?
Murders in Montgomery County doubled last year from 2020. Montgomery County government failed to protest the hurried repeal that year of the Maryland Police Officers Bill of Rights that had existed since 1974. The Montgomery County police relationship with the county community has been disrupted and the results are showing up in all county metrics of crime. Policing is difficult work that deserves careful changes. This didn’t happen in 2020. Respect of police for the community is fundamental to a long-term mutually beneficial relationship. Montgomery County can always improve this relationship, but I would not have supported this wholesale change.

What experience (work, political or other) has prepared you to hold this office?
I am prepared for duties on the council by background, temperament, and experience. I learned to be mission oriented through my experience as an Air Force pilot. My academic training taught me about budgeting, organizations and public administration. My experience as a management analyst has prepared me to contribute on the council from day one. My temperament is that of a problem solver and as consensus builder that proceeds from honest exchange and reason.