Credit: Candidate-submitted photo

This story was updated at 12:20 p.m. on July 23, 2022, to include comments from Natali Fani-González

Natali Fani-González has been projected as the winner of the Democratic nomination in the County Council’s new District 6 seat by The Washington Post as her top opponents have conceded in the race.

As of 11:10 p.m. Friday, the State Board of Elections was reporting the following vote totals in the Democratic race for the District 6 seat with two days of mail-in ballots having been tabulated:

  • Natali Fani-González: 5,592 votes (53.77%)
    • Omar Lazo: 1,027 votes (9.88%)
    • Maricé Morales: 1,728 votes (16.62%)
    • Brit Siman-Tov: 174 votes (1.67%)
    • Steve Solomon: 961 votes (9.24%)
    • Christa Tichy: 510 votes (4.90%)
    • Mark Trullinger: 130 votes (1.25%)
    • Vicki Vergagni: 278 votes (2.67%)

Viet Doan is the only Republican running in the District 6 race.

Fani-González, 41, of Wheaton told Bethesda Beat on Saturday that she had originally planned to wait for the county Board of Elections to finish counting all of the mail-in votes before making an announcement. She said she hasn’t formally declared victory, but five of her opponents have contacted her to congratulate her: Solomon, Morales, Lazo, Siman-Tov and Tichy.

“We all agreed to keep working together,” she said.

Morales congratulated Fani-González on social media Wednesday.

WHAT A CAMPAIGN SEASON! I want to congratulate the next Councilmember for D6 Natali Fani-González — I have a feeling you’ll be fine in November,” Morales wrote on Facebook.

Fani-González  was a member of the Montgomery County Planning Board, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, from 2014 to 2021. Most recently she had served as the board’s vice chair. Fani-González also ran unsuccessfully for a state delegate seat in District 18 in 2014.

Fani-González said her priorities for the next four years on the council, if she is elected in November, included providing constituent services and tackling the issues of  transportation, water and sewer infrastructure and affordable housing.

“I come from the grassroots movement, so I’m one of those who believe the best solutions come from people of different backgrounds coming together to talk about it … and that applies to every single issue at the county level, from solving water and sewer problems and the infrastructure problems that we have at the county level,” she said. “That’s something that I’m passionate about coming from Park and Planning.”

Fani-González, a mother of children ages 9 and 10, is one of six Democratic women who were leading in their respective races for seats on the County Council in the next term, following the second day of mail-in vote counting Friday. If the results hold, more than half — six out of 11 — of the seats on the new council would be occupied by women.

“I love it. I think having that gender balance is important,” she said. “I’m also a mom of two little kids and that makes a big difference. Because when I’m thinking about problems, I’m thinking about them not just as a policy maker, but also as a mom, and that makes a difference.”

If elected in November, Fani-González will represent the County Council’s newly drawn District 6, which encompasses parts of Forest Glen, Wheaton, Glenmont and Aspen Hill.

Fani-González has a full-time job with a policy and communications firm, and she said on Saturday that she plans to continue in the role until December, when she would potentially join the council.

The Post was also projecting incumbent Council Member Sidney Katz as the winner on Friday over challenger Robert Wu in the redrawn District 3 race (Rockville, Gaithersburg). Katz told Bethesda Beat earlier in the week that he was “cautiously optimistic” about winning a third term on the council.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com

Dan Schere

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com.