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The three incumbent at-large County Council members led in early returns, but Tom Hucker, a district council member looking to join them, was battling a former Gaithersburg City Council member for the last seat. 

County Council President Gabe Albornoz, Vice President Evan Glass and member Will Jawando are all seeking a second term on the council. Council Member Tom Hucker — who currently represents District 5, covering Silver Spring and Takoma Park — had been running for county executive, but switched at the filing deadline to seek a third term on the council as an at-large member.

Those four faced Brandy Brooks, a community organizer and at-large candidate in 2018; Dana Gassaway, a former biology teacher; Scott Goldberg, a Democratic Central Committee member and small business owner; and Laurie-Anne Sayles, the former Gaithersburg official.

As of early Wednesday, Glass led all candidates with 37,940 votes (18.56%), according to unofficial results from the State Board of Elections. Jawando was in second with 35,936 votes (17.58%), Albornoz was in third with 31,833 votes (15.57%), and Sayles was in fourth with 26,947 votes (13.18%). Goldberg and Hucker trailed those four with 22,595 votes (11.05%) and 21,851 votes (10.69%) respectively.

Earlier this year, Brooks had been seen as a frontrunner to win one of the four seats, but she lost momentum and endorsements because of sexual harassment claims from a former campaign staff member. She suspended her campaign for about a week and then resumed, but couldn’t make up ground on her challengers.

On the campaign trail, Sayles has championed the need for county procurement processes and business grants to support minority- and women-owned businesses, as well as public-private partnerships for workforce development.

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Goldberg said at forums and events that he would offer a different perspective as a small business owner on the council. He’s been endorsed by The Washington Post, along with Albornoz, Glass and Jawando.

Gassaway, unlike any of the incumbents, didn’t support Thrive Montgomery 2050 — a proposed update to the county’s general master plan, which aims to build more affordable housing, reimagine major road corridors and redevelop parts of the county, especially urban areas. The plan doesn’t do enough to protect the county’s agricultural reserve, Gassaway said.

Albornoz, Glass and Jawando touted their legislative records on the campaign trail. The council president also highlighted his experience running the county’s Department of Recreation for more than 10 years, and his focus on human services and youth development in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Glass has spotlighted his work on local transportation and pedestrian issues, among other issues. Jawando said he would continue his record of legislation to improve police training and accountability. 

During his campaign, Hucker said he would continue to work with grassroots organizations to fight for better wages, including working with local labor unions when considering future development or transportation projects.

Steve Bohnel can be reached at steve.bohnel@bethesdamagazine.com 

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