Editor’s note: The list was updated at 9:15 p.m. July 18 to add an endorsement of Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich by U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin; at 3:15 p.m. July 12 to add an endorsement of Elrich by former state treasurer Nancy Kopp; at 9:55 a.m. June 27 to add endorsements made by the Washington Post editorial page, and at 4:30 p.m. June 23 to add endorsements from the Fraternal Order of Police. Bethesda Beat first posted this list at 9 a.m. June 20, and will continue to update it as new endorsements are announced.

In past election cycles, it has not been unusual for two dozen state- and county-based groups to weigh in with candidate endorsements in the weeks and months leading up to the primary election in the overwhelmingly Democratic jurisdiction of Montgomery County.

This year, the number of organizations opting to make endorsements has decreased a bit, given logistical challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the legal maneuvering that ultimately caused a seven-week delay in the candidate filing deadline – along with postponement of Primary Day itself. Nonetheless, with a contentious race for county executive, along with a half-dozen open seats on the County Council due to term limits and an expansion in the membership of that body, there are no shortage of groups and organizations seeking to sway the outcome on July 19.

What follows is a compilation of primary endorsements by a number of organizations that are well-known locally and have established a presence in recent elections. A large majority of the groups weighing in with endorsements in this year’s Democratic primary — there are no contested Republican primary elections at the county level with the exception of the county executive race — are labor unions, with most of the rest of the endorsements coming from issue advocacy organizations.

Only one business group — the Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors (GCAAR) — has made formal endorsements this year. Another, the Apartment and Office Building Association of Metropolitan Washington (AOBA), did so in recent election cycles — but has opted not to do so this time around. Instead, officials of that organization indicated they may express informal preferences through financial support to certain candidates.

[For more information on candidates for local, state and federal races, check out the Bethesda Beat voters guide.]

Here are the competitive races this year for county offices. With a number of organizations still deciding on who to endorse in some races, the list will be updated as new endorsements become available in the closing weeks of the primary campaign. (Here is a separate breakdown of endorsements in this year’s contested elections for the Maryland General Assembly.)

Some explanatory notes about the organizations whose endorsements are listed below:

The Montgomery County Education Association (MCEA) represents more than 14,000 teachers and other non-supervisory educational professionals in the county school system; the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 500 represents the school system’s 9,500-member support staff. The membership of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1994 MCGEO includes about 5,300 of the county’s full-time employees — another 1,250 are police officers represented by FOP Lodge 35, and 1,100 more are career firefighters who belong to IAFF Local 1664. The Volunteer Fire-Rescue Association represents 19 local fire and ambulance services around Montgomery County that are staffed on a volunteer basis.

SEIU 32BJ represents many property service workers at office and apartment buildings in the county, while UFCW Local 400 includes about 4,000 retail service workers in Montgomery County, primarily at area supermarkets. The Metro Washington Labor Council is the regional arm of the AFL-CIO, and counts nearly 200 union locals throughout the metropolitan area as affiliates. Progressive Maryland is a statewide issue advocacy group that coordinates with religious and community groups and labor union locals.

While the Sierra Club endorses candidates at both the county and state level, endorsements for county offices are made by the club’s “Montgomery County Group”, while endorsements at the statewide and state legislative level are the province of the Sierra Club’s Maryland Chapter. Another leading state environmental group, the Maryland League of Conservation Voters, limits its Montgomery County endorsements to state legislative races.

CASA In Action is the political arm of CASA, which bills itself as the largest Latino and immigrant organization in Maryland.

Pro-Choice Maryland was affiliated with the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) until the beginning of this year, when it – along with 10 other state affiliates of NARAL Pro-Choice America were spun off from the national organization.

County Executive

Montgomery County Education Association (MCEA): Marc Elrich

Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 500: Elrich

Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 32BJ: Elrich

United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1994 MCGEO: Elrich

United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400: Elrich

Montgomery County Career Fire Fighters (IAFF Local 1664): Elrich

Montgomery County Volunteer Fire-Rescue Association: Elrich

Metro Washington Labor Council/AFL-CIO: Elrich

Progressive Maryland: Elrich

CASA In Action: Elrich

Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors (GCAAR): David Blair (GCAAR also has endorsed Reardon Sullivan in the Republican county executive primary.)

Pro-Choice Maryland: Elrich

Sierra Club/Montgomery County Group: Blair

The Washington Post Editorial Page: Blair

Of note: The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP Lodge 35) has opted to make no endorsement in the 2022 Democratic primary after endorsing Elrich four years ago. (It has endorsed Sullivan in this year’s Republican primary.)

In addition to organizations, an unusually large number of current and former elected officials have weighed in with endorsements in this year’s contentious Democratic county executive primary.

David Blair: County Council Member Nancy Navarro; state Sens. Brian Feldman, Cheryl Kagan and Nancy King; Del. Lily Qi; Gaithersburg Mayor Jud Ashman; former U.S. Reps. Michael Barnes and John Delaney; former County Council members Valerie Ervin and Nancy Floreen; former Rockville Mayor Rose Krasnow

Marc Elrich: U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin; Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh; state Sens. Ben Kramer and Susan Lee; Dels. Gabriel Acevero and Vaughn Stewart; Town of Somerset Mayor Jeffrey Slavin; former state Treasurer Nancy Kopp

Hans Riemer: Former Gov. Parris Glendening; former County Council members Cherri Branson and Gail Ewing

County Council/At-Large (four seats)

MCEA: Gabe Albornoz, Evan Glass, Will Jawando, Laurie-Anne Sayles

SEIU Local 500: Albornoz, Glass, Jawando, Sayles

SEIU 32BJ: Albornoz, Glass, Jawando, Sayles

UFCW MCGEO: Albornoz, Glass, Tom Hucker, Sayles

UFCW Local 400: Glass, Hucker, Sayles

Montgomery County Career Fire Fighters (IAFF Local 1664): Albornoz, Glass, Hucker, Jawando

Volunteer Fire-Rescue: Albornoz, Glass, Hucker, Scott Goldberg, Jawando

Fraternal Order of Police: Albornoz, Goldberg, Hucker

Metro Washington Labor Council: Glass, Hucker, Jawando, Sayles

Progressive Maryland: Hucker, Jawando, Sayles

CASA: Albornoz, Glass, Jawando, Sayles

GCAAR: Albornoz, Glass, Goldberg, Hucker

Pro-Choice Maryland: Glass, Hucker, Jawando, Sayles

Sierra Club: Glass, Hucker, Jawando, Sayles

The Washington Post: Albornoz, Glass, Goldberg, Jawando

Of note: CASA and the MCEA originally included Brandy Brooks in their endorsements, but rescinded those endorsements in late April and early May, respectively, following allegations of sexual harassment against Brooks by a former campaign staffer. CASA opted to add Sayles to its list of endorsements at that time, with the MCEA adding Albornoz to its list.

The Volunteer Fire-Rescue Association decided to endorse Albornoz, Glass, Goldberg and Jawando before Hucker dropped out of the county executive primary in mid-April and opted to run instead for council at large. The group then added Hucker to its list, putting it in the position of endorsing five candidates for four available primary nominations. While this practice is unusual, it is not precluded under the bylaws of several local groups that make primary election endorsements.

County Council/District 1 (Bethesda/Chevy Chase/Potomac)

Of note: The Democratic incumbent in this district, Andrew Friedson, is guaranteed re-election to a second term: He has no opposition in the July 19 primary and no Republican challenger on the November general election ballot.

County Council/District 2 (Clarksburg/Darnestown/ Germantown/North Potomac/Poolesville)

MCEA: Will Roberts

SEIU Local 500: Roberts

UFCW MCGEO: Roberts

UFCW Local 400: Roberts

Career Firefighters: Roberts

Volunteer Fire-Rescue: Roberts

Fraternal Order of Police: Marilyn Balcombe

Progressive Maryland: Roberts

CASA: Roberts

GCAAR: Balcombe

Pro-Choice Maryland: Roberts

Sierra Club: Balcombe

The Washington Post: Balcombe

Of note: While Roberts has claimed the bulk of organizational endorsements in this contest, Balcombe’s campaign has lined up individual endorsements from more than a dozen local elected officials, including current County Councilmembers Andrew Friedson and Craig Rice —the latter of whom has represented District 2 since 2010, but must relinquish the seat due to term limits.    

County Council/District 3 (Rockville/Gaithersburg)

MCEA: Sidney Katz

SEIU Local 500: Katz

UFCW MCGEO: Katz

UFCW Local 400: Katz

Career Fire Fighters: Katz

Fraternal Order of Police: Katz

Volunteer Fire-Rescue: Katz

GCAAR: Katz

Sierra Club: Robert Wu

The Washington Post: Katz

County Council/District 4 (Garrett Park/Kensington/North Bethesda/Silver Spring/Takoma Park)

MCEA: Kate Stewart

SEIU Local 500: Stewart

UFCW MCGEO: Stewart

UFCW Local 400: Stewart

Career Fire Fighters: Stewart

Volunteer Fire-Rescue: Stewart  

Metro Washington Labor Council: Stewart

Progressive Maryland: Stewart

CASA: Stewart

GCAAR: Amy Ginsburg

Pro-Choice Maryland: Stewart

Sierra Club: Stewart

The Washington Post: Ginsburg

County Council/District 5 (Burtonsville/Colesville/White Oak)

MCEA: Fatmata Barrie

SEIU Local 500: Barrie

SEIU 32BJ: Kristin Mink

UFCW MCGEO: Daniel Koroma

UFCW Local 400: Koroma

Career Fire Fighters: Brian Anleu

Volunteer Fire-Rescue: Anleu

Fraternal Order of Police: Anleu

Metro Washington Labor Council: Koroma

Progressive Maryland: Barrie

CASA: Barrie

GCAAR: Anleu

Pro-Choice Maryland: Barrie

Sierra Club: Anleu

The Washington Post: Jeremiah Pope

County Council/District 6 (Aspen Hill/Glenmont/Wheaton)

MCEA: Natali Fani-Gonzalez

SEIU Local 500: Fani-Gonzalez

SEIU 32BJ: Fani-Gonzalez

UFCW MCGEO: Fani-Gonzalez

UFCW Local 400: Fani-Gonzalez

Career Firefighters: Fani-Gonzalez

Volunteer-Fire Rescue: Omar Lazo

Metro Washington Labor Council: Fani-Gonzalez

Progressive Maryland: Fani-Gonzalez

CASA: Fani-Gonzalez

GCAAR: Fani-Gonzalez

Pro-Choice Maryland: Marice Morales

Sierra Club: Fani-Gonzalez

The Washington Post: Fani-Gonzalez

County Council/District 7 (Brookeville/Damascus/Laytonsville/Montgomery Village/Olney)

MCEA: Dawn Luedtke

SEIU Local 500: Luedtke

UFCW MCGEO: Luedtke

UFCW Local 400: Luedtke

Career Firefighters: Luedtke

Volunteer Fire-Rescue: Luedtke

Metro Washington Labor Council: Luedtke

CASA: Luedtke

GCAAR: Luedtke

Sierra Club: Jacqueline Manger

The Washington Post: Luedtke

Of note: Pro-Choice Maryland did not endorse in this race after the organization’s board deadlocked over which candidate to back.

State’s Attorney

UFCW MCGEO: John McCarthy

UFCW Local 400: McCarthy

Metropolitan Labor Council: McCarthy

Career Fire Fighters: McCarthy

Volunteer Fire-Rescue: McCarthy

Fraternal Order of Police: Tom DeGonia

CASA: Perry Paylor

The Washington Post: McCarthy

Sheriff

UFCW MCGEO: Maxwell Uy

Volunteer Fire-Rescue: Uy

Fraternal Order of Police: Uy

Judge of the Circuit Court (four seats)

UFCW MCGEO: Carlos Acosta, Theresa Chernosky, Kathleen Dumais, Rachel McGuckian

Career Fire Fighters: Acosta, Chernosky, Dumais, McGuckian

Fraternal Order of Police: Acosta, Chernosky, Dumais, McGuckian

CASA: Marylin Pierre

Washington Post: Acosta, Chernosky, Dumais, McGuckian

Of note: Unlike the four-year terms of other offices on this year’s ballot, circuit court judges are elected to 15-year terms. Under state election law, the incumbent judges appointed by the governor since the last election, along with challengers who file to run, appear on both the Democratic and Republican primary ballots.

Clerk of The Circuit Court

UFCW MCGEO: Karen Bushell

Board of Education/At-Large

SEIU Local 500: Karla Silvestre

Of note: Unlike the other three nonpartisan Board of Education district races on the ballot on July 19, the MCEA has opted not to make an endorsement in the three-candidate contest for this seat.

Board of Education/District 1 (Clarksburg/Germantown/Montgomery Village)

MCEA: Grace Rivera-Oven

SEIU Local 500: Rivera-Oven

Board of Education/District 3 (Bethesda/Chevy Chase/Potomac)

MCEA: Julie Yang

SEIU Local 500: Scott Joftus

Board o f Education/District 5 (Silver Spring)

MCEA: Valerie Coll

SEIU Local 500: Brenda Wolff

Louis Peck, a contributing editor for Bethesda Magazine, can be reached at: lou.peck@bethesdamagazine.com.