Rep. Chris Van Hollen on Thursday endorsed County Executive Isiah Leggett for reelection, putting him at odds with fellow Maryland congressman John Delaney.
“I proudly endorse Ike Leggett for reelection as Montgomery County Executive. As we move into the future, Montgomery County continues to need a visionary and principled leader who can deliver results. Our County Executive, Ike Leggett, has demonstrated that, time and again, he is that leader,” Van Hollen said in an endorsement that was emailed to Leggett supporters.
“During the recent recession, Ike guided our County with a firm and balanced hand. He showed that he was not afraid to make the hard choices that would lead our County out of the recession, build a stronger economic foundation, maintain the highest financial reserves in our history, and preserve our AAA bond rating. Today, the County has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation, has strong job growth, remains committed to a top-rated school system, and has embraced a vision for a global economy for the future,” Van Hollen said.
Delaney endorsed Doug Duncan, Leggett’s predecessor, for the job in May 2013. Duncan’s campaign manager worked on Delaney’s successful campaign for Congress. Duncan also has mentioned Delaney as an example of how the county’s Democratic “insiders” don’t always correctly predict primary winners.
Delaney beat State Sen. Rob Garagiola — presumed to be the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination in 2012 — before beating longtime Republican Rep. Roscoe Bartlett in a redrawn Sixth District.
Van Hollen, a Kensington resident, will go with Leggett. County councilmember Phil Andrews is also running for the Democratic nomination. The primary is June 24.
In his endorsement, Van Hollen cited his work with Leggett in getting federal funding for Rockville Pike improvement projects around the Walter Reed Military Medical Center:
I am extremely impressed with Ike’s unwavering commitment to building a strong partnership with the County’s Congressional delegation and maintaining a continued strong federal presence in the County. He has stood with me and our federal delegation as we fought for and won more than $150 million for federal Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) transportation projects in Montgomery County, and we worked successfully together to retain the federal HHS headquarters in Rockville and NOAA in Silver Spring, ensuring that the County would keep 7,200 jobs.
“As Ike is fond of saying, ‘the future starts in Montgomery County,’” Van Hollen said. “Ike Leggett is indeed a County Executive for that future, and I am honored to endorse him for reelection.”