In the latest development in the jockeying over an open state delegate seat in District 39, Hamza Khan, former president of the Muslim Democratic Club of Montgomery County, indicated Friday that he is reconsidering an earlier decision to drop out of the race.
Khan last month had announced his candidacy in District 39, where one of three House of Delegates seats is being vacated by incumbent Charles Barkley’s decision to run for County Council next year. Earlier this week Khan said he was dropping his bid after the three District 39 incumbents seeking re-election—state Sen. Nancy King (D-Montgomery Village) and Dels. Kirill Reznik (D-Germantown) and Shane Robinson (D-Montgomery Village)—decided to add another contender, communications professional Lesley Lopez of Germantown, to their slate in the June 2018 Democratic primary.
“Over the past few days, I have been contacted by numerous party leaders, elected officials and voters asking me remain in the race for delegate in District 39 or to alternatively consider running for County Council at-large,” Khan, a Germantown resident, said in a statement. While expressing his “deep gratitude” for this support, Khan said, “I have decided that the wisest course of action at this time is to take some time to reflect.”
He added, “I plan to meet with voters and stakeholders in our community in order to discuss the merits of my campaign and seek their counsel…I will make a final decision about running for office later this summer.”
If Khan opts to remain in the contest, as many as a half-dozen Democratic candidates could be taking aim at the slot being given up by Barkley, who has been a member of the Maryland General Assembly for two decades. In addition to Lopez, who filed Wednesday, Gabriel Acevero of Montgomery Village, president of the Association of Black Democrats of Montgomery County, will formally announce his candidacy Saturday.
Also planning to run are Bobby Bartlett, a Germantown-based sales professional, and Andrew Hoverman, a Montgomery Village attorney. Grace Rivera-Oven of Germantown, currently a member of the Montgomery County Board of Elections, said this week she is considering a run for delegate.
District 39, which extends from North Potomac through much of Germantown and includes Montgomery Village, Washington Grove and part of Clarksburg, has become one of the county’s most racially and ethnically diverse jurisdictions. Recent census figures show the district to be about 40 percent white, with African-Americans, Asian-Americans, and Hispanic-Americans each comprising about 20 percent of the population.