18 Candidates Apply for County Council Vacancy

18 Candidates Apply for County Council Vacancy

Council Members Slated to Fill Ervin's District 5 Slot On Jan. 28

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County Council President Craig Rice

Eighteen candidates applied for the County Council’s vacant District 5 seat as of Wednesday evening’s deadline, setting up a three-week vetting process for filling the slot left vacant by last Friday’s resignation of Democrat Valerie Ervin.

The varied field – from a Silver Spring/Takoma Park-based district with a tradition of civic activism — includes nearly a half-dozen attorneys and a Ph.D in biology, along with candidates with extensive resumes in education as well as federal, state and local government. Council President Craig Rice said he would begin circulating the resumes to fellow council members over the weekend, with the aim of selecting Ervin’s successor at the council’s scheduled Jan. 28 session.

Among those applying for the appointment just prior to Wednesday’s deadline were former state Delegate Herman Taylor, who served in Annapolis for eight years; and Jay Hutchins, who mounted a competitive 2010 bid for state delegate in a jurisdiction that overlaps with District 5.

Taylor previously had been mentioned as a potential candidate for a County Council at-large seat in this year’s election; Hutchins, who recently ruled out another run for state legislature, is director of government affairs at the state Department of Labor Licensing and Regulation.

Applicants for the District 5 seat – which pays $106,394 annually — will be asked during public interview sessions to pledge to serve only the balance of Ervin’s term, which ends Dec. 1.

A separate contest to fill the four-year term for the seat beginning late next year is still taking shape in advance of the Feb. 25 filing deadline, with another half-dozen candidates either running or mulling that contest. Ervin, first elected in 2006, resigned to become executive director of the New York-based Center for Working Families, an arm of the Working Families Party. 

Rice indicated those applicants to be called in for interviews, at sessions slated for next week and the week of Jan. 20 will be determined after consultation with his colleagues. Asked whether he expects all applicants to be interviewed, Rice said, “I would doubt that very seriously.”

In the early handicapping of the field for so-called “caretaker” appointment, Silver Spring residents Ronald Galvin and Andrew Kleine may start with something of a leg up.

Galvin, executive director of Impact Silver Spring — a group formed in the wake of the Silver Spring redevelopment to provide support services to community residents – has Ervin’s endorsement, although she will not be eligible to vote for her successor. Before arriving in 2010, he worked for the Atlanta-based Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Kleine, who has been the city of Baltimore’s budget director since 2008, is also a former chief financial officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service – the parent agency of Americorps – and has worked for the federal Office of Management and Budget. He also has ties to the Latino community as the long-time treasurer of CASA of Maryland, an immigrant advocacy group.

Rice said he has reached no conclusions about who he will support for the post, noting, “There are still a lot of things to do in terms of looking through everybody’s dossier.” He did add: “I certainly do like Ronnie Galvin [and] know very well of his work in the community.” At the same time, he said he was getting public feedback from “a number of folks extremely supportive of Andrew Kleine.”

Race could be an issue in the coming deliberations: About one-third of District 5 residents are African-American, the highest percentage of any of the five council districts. Ervin is black, as are half of the applicants for the caretaker slot, including Galvin.

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