Three Incumbent City Council Members Reelected in Gaithersburg
They defeated three challengers who were certified as write-in candidates
Candidates for Gaithersburg City Council had signs set up on Tuesday at Villa Ridge Condos.
By Caitlynn Peetz
This story was updated at 9:50 p.m. Nov. 5, 2019, to correct a reference to the total number of voters in this year’s election.
Gaithersburg City Councilmen Neil Harris, Ryan Spiegel and Robert Wu were reelected to new four-year terms Tuesday night, according to unofficial results.
As of 9 p.m. Tuesday, an hour after polls closed, Wu had received 28% with 1,901, Harris had received 23% with 1,566 votes and Spiegel had received 23% with 1,555 votes.
Write-in candidates Juan Aguirre, Nicole Ukiteyedi and Carol Johnson had 1,104 votes combined. Individual candidate totals were not immediately available Tuesday night. The city wrote in a press release that they will be tallied when the city’s Board of Supervisors of Elections meets on Wednesday.
The write-in candidates didn’t appear on the ballot. They had to be certified by the city’s Board of Supervisors for votes for them to count.
The vote totals are unofficial. Not all of the absentee ballots have been counted.
Lauren Klingler, the city’s elections clerk, said 123 absentee ballots were requested.
City Attorney Lynn Board said that as of Monday, 96 completed ballots had been mailed back. The city’s deadline for accepting absentee ballots is 5 p.m. Thursday. The Board of Supervisors of Elections will review absentee and provisional ballots on Thursday.
The Board of Supervisors of Elections will announce the official results on Friday, according to the city’s press release.
There were 2,249 residents who voted in the election. That includes those voting at six polling sites on Tuesday and 203 people who voted early Oct. 26 and 27.
Gaithersburg has 36,526 registered voters, putting turnout at 6.16%, according to the city.
In 2017, total turnout was 3,396, or 9.29%.
City Council members serve staggered four-year terms and are part-time, along with the mayor. City elections are held during odd-numbered years.
Wu, 42, is an attorney with the U.S. Government Accountability Office and was first elected to the City Council in 2015.
Harris, 64, was elected to his second full term on the City Council. He is the engagement director for the information technology company Rivet Logic Inc. and was appointed to the council in 2014. That year, then-councilman Jud Ashman became mayor, following the election of then-Mayor Sidney Katz to the Montgomery County Council.
Harris was elected to a full term in 2015.
Spiegel, 41, is a law partner at the firm Paley Rothman, and has served on the council for 12 years. He also ran unsuccessfully for a state delegate seat in 2006 and a seat on the County Council in 2014.
The council members will be sworn in at the start of the council’s Nov. 18 meeting at 7:30 p.m.
Dan Schere can be reached at Daniel.firstname.lastname@example.org