2017 | Government

Former Congressional Candidate and an Incumbent Run for Chevy Chase Council Seats

Town voters head to the polls Tuesday

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Via Cecily Baskir and Joel Rubin

A former congressional candidate and an incumbent council member will be on the ballot in the Town of Chevy Chase on Tuesday.
Joel Rubin, former State Department official and president of a foreign policy advisory firm, is the lone candidate for the seat being vacated by Fred Cecere. Last year, Rubin ran an unsuccessful campaign in the Democratic primary for the 8th district congressional seat won by U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin. 
Rubin, who has lived in the town since 2006 with his wife and three children, said it's an exciting time of growth for the area, but the opportunity comes with responsibility."I want to be as involved as I can be in helping ensure a strong future for my kids," he said.
The second candidate, Cecily Baskir, has served on the council since January as the appointee to a seat vacated by John Bickerman. She's up for election to reclaim her post.
Baskir, a town resident since 2007, said she became involved in local politics more than a year ago as the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan was taking shape. She, like Rubin, said the two-decade growth plan's success hinges on whether Montgomery County officials listen to local residents.
Although town leaders were disappointed that development staging didn't end up in the plan's final draft, the County Council did adjust many other parts of the document based on community concerns, she said.
Now that the plan is headed toward final approval in coming weeks, Baskir said she'd like to focus more attention on other issues, such as encouraging more public engagement in local government.
"I'm also a working mother of small children. I recognize that it's very hard for others in the town who have competing obligations to be as involved in town meetings," said Baskir, a Bethesda-based attorney.
As the only two candidates for two open seats, both Baskir and Rubin were heading into Election Day feeling confident. 
However, the town has seen its share of election drama; in 2015, Cecere ousted an incumbent in a secret write-in campaign that came under legal review.
Polls in Tuesday's town election will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The winners will begin their two-year terms on May 10.