Editors' Pick

Would Anyone Not Running for County Council At-Large Please Stand Up?

Be it fatigue with the same old faces or backlash over a newly imposed property tax hike, residents overwhelmingly voted in the fall of 2016 to impose term limits on the Montgomery County Council. And, as often happens in the wake of major changes to the political system, it didn’t take long for the law of unintended consequences to go to work. In 2010, 10 candidates competed for four at-large council seats in the Democratic primary, where winning is tantamount to victory in November; in 2014, there were only six candidates. But as early as this past fall, with three of the four at-large council members term-limited out, nearly 30 Democrats had filed or announced—and some head counts had the number heading toward 40 by this February’s filing deadline. Between a confused electorate needing a scorecard to tell the players apart and “micro-targeting” of certain groups by some candidates, a tiny handful of the county’s nearly 650,000 registered voters could end up deciding who represents them for the next four years.​