2021 | Politics

Two newcomers pursue at-large County Council seats

Plus: Trone announces re-election campaign; Kramer will have challenger

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Two people running for public office for the first time are pursuing at-large seats on the Montgomery County Council.

Kristin Mink of Silver Spring and Kim Kellerman of Poolesville — both Democrats — have launched their campaigns for a shot at one of the four at-large seats on the council.

The at-large seats are currently held by Council Vice President Gabe Albornoz and Members Evan Glass, Will Jawando and Hans Riemer.

Albornoz, Glass and Jawando are all running for re-election. Riemer is term-limited and has said he will consider a run for county executive after focusing on pressing issues of the COVID-19 response and vaccine rollout.

As of Friday morning, Kellerman and Christa Tichy of Rockville were the only candidates to have filed for the at-large council race.

Brandy Brooks of Wheaton also has declared her candidacy.

Kellerman, also a lifelong resident of the county, said she decided to run after her experience during the pandemic.

She chose to run for an at-large seat because she felt she could better represent the entire county, instead of an area where she has lived for a few years.

“I just realized that it opened my eyes in many ways,” she said. “Being a single mom of four boys, not being able to go to work, a lack of child care, made me realize that pre-pandemic, I was already struggling. … I didn’t realize how my situation is a lot like others out there. It’s not just me. That motivated me.”

Kellerman, who is unemployed, said women also need more representation on the council. Council Member Nancy Navarro, who is term-limited and not seeking re-election, is the only woman on the council.

“We have to rely on one woman to get all of our voices out there,” Kellerman said. “I think more women in positions of political service is necessary.”

Kellerman said she is focusing on women’s issues, domestic violence, economic development, government transparency, civic engagement, and public transit for her campaign.

Mink, a native of the county, said she has spent much of her time trying to push legislators to make changes that are important to the community. Now, it’s time for her to step up, she said.

Mink is the special projects manager for the Center for Popular Democracy and previously was a teacher for Montgomery County Public Schools.

“I’m excited about the … opportunity for Montgomery County to have a larger number of progressive council members than it has ever had before,” she said. “I think that reflects where Montgomery County is at.”

Her campaign has promoted the fact that when Scott Pruitt was secretary of the Environmental Protection Agency, Mink confronted him in a restaurant about his environmental policies and told him to resign.

Reimagining public safety will be a large part of Mink’s campaign.

“I do believe we are at a moment where people who have not been personally impacted are ready to see a change and eager to see a change,” she said. “I think the conversation that we need to be having is that we acknowledge that the system that we have is not the best. We need to do better.”

Mink will also focus on climate change, transportation improvements, and affordable housing.

The 2022 primary will be held on June 28. The general election will be on Nov. 8.

The filing deadline is Feb. 22, 2022.

Trone running for re-election, opts out of governor race

U.S. Rep. David Trone (D-Potomac) is seeking a third term in Congress next year, opting out of a race for Maryland governor.

Trone, who represents Maryland’s Sixth District, announced his re-election campaign in a press release on May 7.

“I am excited to continue bringing innovative solutions and a long-term vision to Congress, working to invest in the people and create a brighter future for all of our children,” he said in the release. “I believe in the American dream, and I believe that if we come together as Americans, we can give everyone a chance to achieve it.”

Trone is focusing on several issues in his campaign, including ending additional and mental health crises, reforming the criminal justice system, and investing in medical research.

Sen. Kramer to have contender in primary election

Sen. Benjamin Kramer (D-Derwood) will have at least one contender for his seat in the Democratic primary election.

Zachary Kiser, a scientist from Rockville, is running for Kramer’s District 19 seat.

Kiser, who grew up in Kentucky, said in a campaign launch video that Kramer “doesn’t know what it’s like to not be sure there’s going to be lunch or dinner tomorrow. Or what it feels like living paycheck to paycheck or having no job at all. But I do and I will never forget.”

The district needs a “true progressive,” he said, identifying himself as an underdog running against a career politician. Kramer is seeking a third term in the Senate after serving 12 years in the House of Delegates.

Kiser said in the video that he will focus on expanding school meals, paid family leave and early childhood intervention, as well as work on unions, working families and public health-driven gun safety.

Kramer told Maryland Matters that if Kiser “thinks there’s a chink in the armor” with his constituent service work and voting record in the legislature, “he’ll find he’s sorely mistaken.”