2021 | Politics

Hucker announces he’s exploring run for county executive

Elrich, Riemer and Blair have all already entered race for county’s top office

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County Council President Tom Hucker announced Thursday he is "exploring" a run for county executive next year.

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County Council President Tom Hucker made official today what has been rumored for weeks: he’s exploring a run for county executive.

Hucker, who has been a council member since 2014 and served in the Maryland General Assembly from 2007 to 2014, told supporters of his plans at Kaldi’s Social House in Silver Spring. 

If he enters the race, he would join current County Executive Marc Elrich, Council Member Hans Riemer and businessman David Blair as Democratic candidates in the race for the county’s top elected office. 

He told Bethesda Beat the county is not moving in a progressive enough direction on issues on economic and job growth, social equity and climate change. Hucker added he would be meeting with community leaders over the next several weeks and will make a final decision by sometime this fall.

Hucker currently represents District 5 on the council, which includes Silver Spring, Takoma Park, Burtonsville, and other areas in the southeastern part of the county. He is not term-limited, as the county charter allows council members to serve three four-year terms. 

Hucker said he might represent one district, but he’s also focused on how issues affect the entire county.

“I’m taking actions that affect the whole county all the time, if you look at … the operating budget, the capital budget, it’s filled with items [like] renovate every school, build sidewalks all over the county, complete road projects all over the county, complete libraries and rec centers and refresh them,” Hucker said. “I’m very familiar with … the elements of the county government as our residents interact with them.”

Several elected officials spoke in support of Hucker at Thursday’s event. One of them was Council Member Nancy Navarro.

Navarro said she has told Hucker he should seriously consider running for county executive. Hucker is someone who knows every area of the county, not just his district. She added he has the progressive record to make sure social and economic inequities are addressed after the coronavirus pandemic ends.

“I think that my colleague Tom Hucker can be somebody who definitely steps up to this challenge,” Navarro told supporters.

The last elected official to address the crowd was state Sen. Will Smith, who represents Takoma Park and Silver Spring.

Smith said Hucker’s experience in the State House and on the County Council would serve him well as county executive.

“This is a man that has a diverse, wide array of experience at every level of government, and that background has enabled him to have great ties with our state legislative delegation,” Smith told supporters. “It is so critically important to have a good relationship with your state delegation, and too often, that’s a fractured relationship. Tom has repaired it.”

The primary is scheduled for June 28, 2022, and the general election is scheduled for Nov. 8, 2022.

Steve Bohnel can be reached at steve.bohnel@bethesdamagazine.com