2021 | Government

Friedson to run for re-election to Montgomery County Council

Plans to focus on quality of life, economy, housing in second term

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Friedson

Montgomery County Council Member Andrew Friedson announced he will seek re-election to the District 1 seat in 2022.

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This story was updated at 10:30 p.m. Sept. 29, 2021, to correct a reference to Council Member Will Jawando, who is running for re-election and at 11:15 a.m. Sept. 30 to add Scott Goldberg as a candidate.

Montgomery County Council Member Andrew Friedson announced on Wednesday that he plans to run for re-election to his District 1 seat.

Friedson, 35, was first elected in 2018. He said he wants to spend his second term focused on “building on the work we’ve started” in the past four years enhancing residents’ quality of life, creating a more competitive local economy, improving housing affordability and honing the county’s focus on fiscal responsibility.

“We’ve accomplished quite a lot in a short period of time, even in the midst of an unprecedented crisis, but there’s more work to do,” Friedson, a Bethesda resident, said in an interview on Wednesday. “And I am as excited and energized about running for re-election as I was when I decided to run for election and I think I’m even better prepared today to take on the challenges the county faces and that our community faces.”

He plans to officially file with the state Board of Elections and hold a campaign kickoff event in mid-October.

No one had filed for the District 1 seat as of Wednesday.

Four candidates have filed for District 4 — Natali Fani Gonzalez, Omar Lazo, Maricé Morales and Paul Schwartz, all Democrats. The incumbent, Nancy Navarro, is prevented from running again because of term limits.

Only one candidate — Democrat Marilyn Balcombe — has filed to run in District 2, where incumbent Craig Rice, a Democrat, also is term limited.

No candidates have filed in Districts 3. The District 3 incumbent, Democrat Sidney Katz, plans to run again.

Democrat Fatmata Barrie is running in District 5. District 5 incumbent Tom Hucker, a Democrat, has said he might run for county executive.

The county executive race so far includes incumbent Marc Elrich and challengers David Blair and Hans Riemer. All are Democrats.

Riemer, an at-large council member, also can’t run for re-election because of term limits.

At-large Council Members Gabe Albornoz, Evan Glass and Will Jawando, who are Democrats, are running again. The at-large field also includes Democrats Brandy Brooks, Scott Goldberg, Kim Kellerman, Kristin Mink, Laurie-Anne Sayles and Christa Tichy.

Voters approved a referendum that adds two additional district seats to the council next year. The territory of those districts will be determined through a redistricting committee whose work is underway.

The 2022 primary will be on June 28 and the general election on Nov. 8. The filing deadline is Feb. 22.

During his first term, Friedson, a Democrat, was a consistent advocate for fiscal responsibility within the county government, sponsoring a bill that requires an “economic impact statement” for all new county legislation. He also pushed for regular financial reviews of county agencies, monetary relief programs for residents during the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthening county ethics laws.

Friedson grew up in Montgomery County, and graduated from Winston Churchill High School in Potomac.

“Representing the only place I’ve ever called home, where I was born and raised in District 1, has been the most profound privilege of my professional life,” Friedson said. “… We have the strongest economic bones, the strongest social opportunities, the best community you could possibly imagine, so all of the challenges that we face pale in comparison to the people that we have and the opportunities that we have to address them.”

Friedson worked as a field organizer in the 2008 Obama presidential campaign, a campaign manager for Comptroller Peter Franchot in the 2010 election and an adviser on David Trone’s District 8 Congressional campaign before the 2016 primary election. Friedson quit his job as a senior adviser to Franchot in the comptroller’s office to run for County Council.

Friedson also previously served as chair of the Montgomery County Collaboration Council for Children.

Friedson defeated Republican Richard Banach in the 2018 general election, receiving about 77% of the votes cast.

Managing Editor Andrew Schotz contributed to this story.

Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at caitlynn.peetz@bethesdamagazine.com