Leggett sets priorities as he seeks third term

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett speaks at a victory watch Tuesday night. He won the Democratic nomination to seek a third term leading the county but must first face Republican James Shalleck in November. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)

WASHINGTON – The results are still unofficial, but it looks like Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett will remain in office unless the Republican opponent who ran unopposed, James Shalleck, pulls off an upset in the heavily Democratic county come November.

As he headed into what turned into a victory party at his Silver Spring headquarters Tuesday night, Leggett discussed what he wants to tackle in the next four years.

“We want to first of all, build on the foundation that we’ve started,” the two-term Democrat said.

But he cautioned that the county faces challenges ahead. One of Leggett’s priorities is eduction.

“Closing the achievement gap in our school system, and of course we want to make certain that we enhance job prospects for our young people in the county as well,” he said.

Transportation remains a major issue in the county. And despite the bungled Silver Spring Transit Center project, which remains years behind schedule and millions over budget, Leggett says he’ll continue to work to shepherd transit projects to their completion. That includes the Purple Line, a light rail system designed to connect downtown Silver Spring to New Carrollton.

Bruce Adams, who served on the Montgomery County Council with Leggett and now works in the Leggett administration in the Office of Community Partnerships, credits Leggett with bringing the county out of a steep recession.

“And that’s a heck of a legacy. But you want to do more than that,” Adams says.

With the county and state in a better position post-recession, Leggett himself is in a stronger position to deliver more innovative programs. “And lead us into the 21st century as we become a majority-minority community,” Adams says.

The latest results from the Maryland State Board of Elections show Leggett leading the Democratic field with 45 percent of the votes compared to former County Executive Doug Duncan’s 32 percent and county Councilman Phil Andrews’ 22 percent Wednesday afternoon.

Absentee and provisional ballots have not yet been counted.

WTOP’s Kate Ryan contributed to this report. Follow @kateryanWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.


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