This story was updated at 6:10 p.m. Nov. 12, 2021, to additional details and comments.
Montgomery County Council President Tom Hucker said Friday that he is planning to run for county executive in 2022 — but he won’t officially announce his candidacy until his term ends as council president in early December.
“I’m County Council president and generally, the council president does not run for office,” Hucker said in an interview. “I made a commitment to my colleagues (on the council) not to do so.”
While he is holding off on a formal announcement, Hucker has formed an exploratory campaign to raise money.
Hucker will be the fourth Democrat in the race.
County Executive Marc Elrich is seeking a second term. Businessman David Blair — who narrowly lost to Elrich in 2018 — and County Council Member Hans Riemer also are running for the Democratic nomination.
“It is what it is and I’m not surprised,” Elrich said in an interview, referring to Hucker’s candidacy. “Tom is concerned about his future and I guess he’s deciding that he has to make his play now.”
Elrich also said “it will be interesting to debate” Hucker.
In a text message, Blair said “welcome” to Hucker’s candidacy.
“Another candidate means there will be more opportunities to share ideas about how we can move our county forward — which should benefit all,” Blair said. “I look forward to these discussions.”
Riemer declined to comment on Hucker’s candidacy.
The Montgomery County Council has scheduled an officers election on Dec. 7 to replace Hucker, whose one-year-year term expires. Typically, the council vice president moves up to president. Gabe Albornoz is the current vice president.
Hucker, who could be elected to a third term on the County Council before hitting term limits, has been careful about committing to the county executive’s race.
He told Tom Sherwood on Friday morning on Kojo Nnamdi’s radio show on WAMU that he was “planning to run,” but did not give a timeline for a formal announcement.
Representing Silver Spring, Takoma Park and other eastern parts of Montgomery County, Hucker is considered a progressive Democrat. He was elected to the Montgomery County Council in 2014 and re-elected in 2018.
Before that, he served in the Maryland House of Delegates, representing District 20, which includes much of his County Council district.
Born in St. Louis, Mo., Hucker is a graduate of Boston College and was a community advocate before entering politics.