Politics Roundup: Apple Ballot, Duncan Transit Center Video

D-16 Delegate candidate Hrant Jamgochian (file photo)Frick, Jamgochian Get On Apple Ballot — The Montgomery County Education Association on Tuesday announced more endorsements that will appear on its influential apple ballot this primary, including its picks for District 16.

The MCEA — the union representing 12,000 educators in MCPS — will support Del. Susan Lee to fill the State Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Brian Frosh, who is running for attorney general.

The union had already endorsed Del. Ariana Kelly for re-election. On Tuesday, it threw its support behind Del. Bill Frick, who pulled a last-minute reversal and decided to pursue re-election rather than run for attorney general.

It also endorsed Hrant Jamgochian, one of the five non-incumbent candidates for three seats:

Mr. Frick is a favorable incumbent with a positive voting record on education issues. Through his service on the Ways & Means Committee, Mr. Frick has been a valuable voice advocating for education funding. MCEA is recommending Hrant Jamgochian to fill the vacant seat in this district. MCEA’s interview team was impressed by Mr. Jamgochian’s policy background and insight. His record of community involvement has prepared him well for public service.

The apple ballot, literally a piece of paper shaped like an apple listing all of MCEA’s endorsements, is thought to be highly influential on election day, especially to voters who haven’t paid attention to down ballot races.

MCEA members pass the ballots out at most polling places around Montgomery County. The primary this year is June 24.

Duncan Pokes Fun At Transit Center Delays — Doug Duncan’s campaign on Tuesday released a YouTube video showing “just how much has gone on in our community, our country and the world,” since County Executive Isiah Leggett got into office and took over oversight of the long-delayed Silver Spring Transit Center project.

Duncan, who was county executive for three terms before Leggett took over in 2008, wants his old job back. In recent weeks Duncan has hammered Leggett on the status of the Transit Center, part of his pitch that he would be a stronger leader for Montgomery County.

The video lists events that have happened since the construction contract between Montgomery County and construction company Foulger-Pratt was signed in September 2008. The Transit Center is currently delayed because of problems with concrete pourings, with no estimated opening date.

The video points out how that estimated opening date kept getting pushed back and how in that time the Washington Redskins fired two coaches.

While the video is a light-hearted way to look at this failure to deliver, I take this subject very seriously. Our county leaders have been silent to my request for answers to the problems at the Silver Spring Transit Center. But I believe that by standing together, we will not be ignored.  The time has come for answers.

Crews are waiting for warmer weather to apply a concrete overlay to fix varying concrete thickness and cracking in the structure.

Video via Doug Duncan

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