“We believe Chris can have a good future in public service in the county. But in light of the recent news and financial disclosures, we cannot recommend him in this race at this time,” said MCEA President Doug Prouty.
Barclay said he was disappointed at the decision of the unions but said he intends to still run for the County Council District 5 democratic nomination.
“The reason I got the endorsement from SEIU and MCEA is because they knew I was the best candidate. I am disappointed in the decisions of MCEA and SEIU. I have stood with MCPS employees to make sure they got pay increases, to fend off furloughs and to make sure that they could maintain affordable health benefits when times got tough. It’s too bad they couldn’t do the same for me. In the end I will always respect the decision of the membership,” said Barclay.
In April, BOE President Phil Kauffman assembled an ad-hoc committee to review Montgomery County credit card use policy. The BOE has suspended use of the cards on June 2 until the committee finishes its review. The ad-hoc committee will meet on June 12 at 11 a.m. at the BOE headquarters in Rockville.
Dana Tofig, MCPS public information officer, said the committee met once. The meeting is open to the public though the members will not vote on any police changes. According to Tofig, the committee will review two years of expenses and will release any recommended changes to the full board at the appropriate time.
Barclay has paid back all $1,500 in personal charges and said the D.C. hotel charge was for a conference he has attended for seven years.
“Anything the card was used for was paid back and the staff was informed about the transaction. I didn’t hide anything from anyone,” Barclay said.
With less than two weeks until the primary and with early voting in full swing, Barclay says he is focusing on voter engagement.
“We continue to do our work and get out there and reach out to the voters. This is supposed to be an election about the issues. That is what I’m trying to do to make sure I continue to get the message out there about the issues. While people are wanting to focus on the distraction, they’re missing the fact that district 5 is in dire need of economic development and we have to create jobs in district 5,” Barclay said.
When Barclay filed for candidacy he lived in district 4, not district 5, where he lived after his divorce. Barclay said he currently lives in Takoma Park, a requirement for the primary election. Barclay also works as a consultant and a photographer in addition to his work on the BOE since leaving Verizon Wireless.
“I had no idea when I started for the BOE I would want to go to the county council. What I learned as a board member is when I look at the issues we have to deal with in our schools, we can’t solve them all in our schools. If we’re very serious about our achievement gap, we have to be serious about poverty,” Barclay said. “We have to be serious about economic inequality and how we’re going to help adults get the jobs so they can feed their families and that can’t all happen at the BOE. We have to have a county council that is all looking and working on those issues. The council is moving in that direction but there are people on the council that need more support.”
Despite recent challenges, Barclay says he is proud of his eight years as a member of the BOE.
“I’m very proud of the work I’ve done on the board and I’m excited to have the opportunity to do the work on the county level,” said Barclay.
In other district 5 news, Governor Martin O’Malley announced his endorsement of fellow District 5 democratic contender, Delegate Tom Hucker (D-20).
“As a former local elected official, I know that skill and experience affect your ability to get things done,” O’Malley said. “And as a Democrat who grew up in
Hucker said he applied for the MCEA endorsement, as did all the candidates.
“I’m just trying to get all the support I can get. I have 30 different grassroots group endorsing me, they saw my accomplishments and my records. The other education unions are all with me, so I have pretty broad support among teachers and PTA leaders as well. I’m really proud of the diverse coalition that is behind the county,” Hucker said.
Other district 5 candidates include Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board chair Evan Glass, activist Terrill North, and nonprofit leader Jeffrey Thames.