2016 | Politics

Leggett Makes It Official: He’s Not Seeking Fourth Term

County executive says he will probably endorse a candidate to succeed him

County Executive Ike Leggett

Aaron Kraut

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett said Tuesday he will not seek a fourth term.

“I’m not running again. Period,” Leggett said in an interview with Bethesda Beat. “I have to think about my family and other things I want to do.”

Leggett, 71, would not be able to seek a fourth term if a term limits charter amendment passes on Nov. 8. The measure would prevent the county executive and members of the County Council from serving more than three consecutive terms.

He said he revealed his intentions not to run Sunday at a fundraising event for an anti-term limits group.

Leggett told Bethesda Beat that he incorrectly told the group that he would be retiring. He said Tuesday that he might return to teaching or his legal practice.

“I haven’t settled on any of those things as of yet,” but “12 years is long enough for me for county executive,” he said.

As far as the 2018 county executive race is concerned, Leggett said he would likely endorse a candidate, but it was too early for speculation. “My attitude is to wait and see,” he said.

Before he leaves office, Leggett said he has a number of things left on his to-do list. He wants to get the White Oak Master Plan completed, the Purple Line and the Corridor Cities Transitway moving, and he wants extra capacity in the school system.

Leggett said his wife, Catherine, didn’t want him to seek a third term. She relented after a couple of months of emails and phone calls from Leggett supporters who praised his work guiding the county through the recession and stabilizing county finances.

“Eventually she came around,” he said.

Leggett said he didn’t bother asking his wife about a fourth term. “It’s not even worth questioning.”