2021 | Schools

Montgomery County school board president plans to run for re-election

Docca, the District 1 incumbent, has not decided on seeking another term

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Montgomery County Board of Education President Brenda Wolff said she plans to run for re-election in 2022, joining board Vice President Karla Silvestre as the only two candidates who have committed to the race for four open seats.

In an interview on Friday, Wolff said she plans to run for a second term on the board, but was not available to comment further. She represents District 5.

Wolff joins Silvestre, who filed for re-election to her at-large seat in October.

Judy Docca, who holds the District 1 seat, wrote in an email this week that she has “made no decision” yet about whether she will seek a fifth term. She told Bethesda Beat when she was elected in 2018 that it would be her last term on the school board.

The fourth seat, representing District 3, is vacant following the death of Pat O’Neill. O’Neill had held the position since 1998.

A person has not yet been appointed to serve the remainder of her term, but the school board has narrowed the field of candidates from 18 to eight.

Wolff and Silvestre were both elected in 2018. Wolff ran unopposed. Neither had run for public office before.

There are five district seats on the board and two at-large. Candidates who run for a district seat live in that district. The entire county votes for all of the district and at-large seats.

The filing deadline for the primary election is Feb. 22.

Two other school board members — Rebecca Smondrowski and Shebra Evans — said in May that they are considering running for other county or state offices in 2022.

In a text message on Friday, Smondrowski wrote that she is still “strongly considering a run for our state delegation,” but has not yet made a final decision.

Evans, who previously said she was considering a County Council campaign, could not be reached for comment on Friday.

Smondrowski has been on the school board since 2012, and Evans was first elected in 2016.

Smondrowski and Evans are both registered Democrats, though school board elections are nonpartisan.

Both were re-elected to four-year terms on the school board in November 2020. If either or both were elected to other positions, their vacated seats would be filled by a “qualified individual” chosen by the remaining members, according to the board’s handbook.

Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at caitlynn.peetz@bethesdamagazine.com