In a field that included 33 candidates, incumbent Council member Hans Riemer, along with newcomers Will Jawando, Evan Glass, and Gabe Albornoz emerged victorious to secure Democratic nominations for the County’s four at-Large County Council seats in November’s general election.
“This has been an amazing race. There’s so many people running for Council, a lot of really wonderful and qualified people. The county’s in a really good position and we have a lot of great people serving on the Council,” Riemer said during a watch party at the Quarry House Tavern in Silver Spring.
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Riemer, a Takoma Park resident, who is running for his third and final term, topped the field with 12.2 percent. Jawando, a policy attorney, secured second place with 9.8 percent with Glass, a former journalist, getting 7.9 percent and Albornoz, the current County Recreation Director, finishing a close fourth with 7.3 percent.
Candidates that finished below the top four finishers earned between .5 and 6.2 percent.
The four candidates, all of whom opted to use the County’s Public Campaign Financing system, ran on similar platforms that included education funding, expanding transportation, and improving the environment.
“I think the message that I have of keeping the promise of Montgomery County for everybody, things like great schools in every neighborhood, affordable housing, good transit, clean environment, those things resonate,” Jawando said while at his party at the All Set Restaurant in Silver Spring.
Jawando, who ran in the Congressional primary for Maryland’s 8th district in 2016 and District 20 seat in the Maryland House of Delegates in 2014, explained the campaign was “a tough 18 months” due to the death of his father, an illness to his mother, an automobile accident involving his wife.
“So basically everything that could happen, happened in our lives during this race,” he added.
Glass, who faces the prospect of being the first LGBTQ individual to serve on the County Council, explained the significance of the result in the context of the Trump administration adding, “where I can be refused service because of whom I love, the significance of being the first LGBTQ nominee to the Montgomery County Council sends a loud and clear message that hate has no home here.”
Albornoz, who oversees the County’s Recreation Department, called the 33-candidate field “historic” said he wanted “to make sure that we are able to go deeper into communities, connect communities that currently are not part of our civic process, not part of our political process so that they feel like they have a seat at the table.”
The four candidates will face Republicans Robert Dyer, Chris P. Fiotes, Jr., Penny Musser, Shelly Skolnick, and Green Party candidate Tim Willard.