The field for Bethesda-based County Council District 1 is continuing to grow.
On Friday, Democrat Andrew Friedson, a Bethesda resident and senior adviser to Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, announced he will pursue the seat, which incumbent Roger Berliner must vacate due to term limits in 2018.
Berliner, the council president, is running for the Democratic nomination for county executive in the June 26 primary.
Friedson, 31, said he will leave his state job soon to focus on the campaign.
“I’ve always believed that public service requires personal sacrifice,” Friedson said in an email. “The council is a full-time job with full-time challenges, so I’ll be devoting myself full-time to this campaign. I plan to meet every voter in the district at their doorstep, to earn their trust and their vote. That’s only possible if I leave my state role in Annapolis and Baltimore to be in the district every day, beginning Labor Day.”
Former Kensington Mayor Pete Fosselman, women’s rights advocate Reggie Oldak, former Planning Board member Meredith Wellington and progressive activist Bill Cook are also running for the council seat. All four are Democrats. So far no Republican candidates have formally filed or announced plans to pursue the seat.
Friedson grew up in Potomac and graduated from Winston Churchill High School. He served as the student body president at the University of Maryland and afterwards held a number of political positions.
He worked as a field organizer in the 2008 Obama presidential campaign, a campaign manager for Franchot in the 2010 election and an adviser on David Trone’s District 8 Congressional campaign before the 2016 primary election.
He’s had a variety of roles in Franchot’s office since 2010, including communications director and most recently senior policy adviser.
Friedson opened a campaign committee with the state Board of Elections on Tuesday to begin fundraising for the race and launched a campaign website this week. He intends to rely on private fundraising, rather than the county’s new public campaign financing system.
He plans to formally file for candidacy and launch his campaign in September, after leaving his state job.
“Serving at some of the highest levels of state government has been the privilege of my professional life, and I will always be grateful to the Comptroller for the opportunity to serve, learn and make a difference,” Friedson said in an email. “I wish him and his outstanding team nothing but success moving forward and can’t wait to formally launch this campaign.”
In a statement on his website, he said he would work to modernize Montgomery County’s economy to encourage businesses to invest in Montgomery County.
“To truly be a world-class county, we need a world-class county government,” Friedson wrote. “That means modernizing county services so they deliver what our residents expect and deserve. When a county resident interacts with their local government, we should be making their day, not ruining it.”
The general election is on Nov. 6, 2018.