Montgomery County executive race heats up

Another candidate plans to jump into top race in Montgomery County.

Montgomery County Council President Tom Hucker confirmed that he planned to campaign to become the next county executive.

The Democratic councilmember representing District 5, which includes Silver Spring and Takoma Park, first revealed his plans Friday, while a guest on WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi Show.

On Saturday, Hucker told WTOP that he wanted to complete his one year term as council president in early December, before launching his campaign.

“I made a commitment to my colleagues and to the county to finish up my term. I’m very proud of the what the council was able to do this year, while I’ve been president, serving as the board of health for the county, keeping all our public health restrictions in place and ending up performing better than most of the counties in the nation, closing the racial equity gap we had in our vaccinations and passing a whole raft of important legislation on climate, police reform and other things,” Hucker said.

Hucker identified economic development as a core issue he expected to emerge in the campaign.

“Our economic development strategy needs to center on our small businesses, they are the source of most of the jobs in the county and that’s true across the nation but we have very little focus on them … unfortunately we’re really close to last in the region in job creation. We’re far behind our climate goals and our housing goals and our racial equity goals and we’re not making progress … we will never have the money to address our unmet needs unless we have a thriving economy,” Hucker said.

In recent years, Prince George’s County has led the state in job creation.

While Tucker has opposed Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s plan to expand the Capital Beltway and introduce toll lanes on the beltway and Route 270, Hucker said that there are transit projects that deserve state and federal funding. Those projects included the Purple Line light rail, bus rapid transit network and expansion of the Marc Train service.

Montgomery County at-large Council Member Hans Reimer announced his candidacy for county executive this past summer.

Business executive David Blair has also reentered the race after narrowly losing to Marc Elrich in 2018.

All 3 candidates run as Democrats in a county where no Republican serves on the county council. November election results are often foretold in the June Democratic primary.

Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

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