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We are proud Montgomery County Democratic women who believe that Marc Elrich is the best steward for our county’s future. He is the only Democrat in the County Executive race. He has earned our unwavering support.
In his own words, Elrich focuses on the future of Montgomery County—how we will prosper, grow, treat each other, and move forward: TOGETHER. And our elected officials agree. County Executive Ike Leggett, Senator Chris Van Hollen, Senator Ben Cardin, and Congressman Jamie Raskin— all endorse Elrich for County Executive. Along with tens of thousands of members from 30+ endorsing organizations, they are standing together to support Elrich. Why? Because he will use his experience as a teacher, a Councilmember, and a lifelong resident of Montgomery County to maintain and improve the quality of life for all County residents. As he now does, he will continue to make early childhood development a high priority. He will encourage local entrepreneurs to use incubators and business centers for the chance to turn their ideas into successful products that will attract businesses to fill the 10 million square feet of empty commercial space in the County. He has a rational and balanced approach to growth and development. This includes transportation, schools, recreation facilities and other infrastructure.
There was no Montgomery County Executive until 1970. We are amazed that Floreen claims she will be the first female leader and county executive in Montgomery County. She fails to recognize two women who led our County in the past. The first is Stella B. Werner who remains esteemed to this day. In fact, her namesake building houses the Councilmembers’ offices including the one Floreen inhabits. The second is Kathryn E. Diggs, who remains disparaged. The “Diggs Council” was notorious for disregarding planning experts and resident concerns with her County Above Party organization. Ironically, this is the same name adopted by the SuperPAC behind Floreen. The diametrically opposed individual legacies of these two leaders in Montgomery County history are unparalleled, and their respective records are quite germane to this year’s election.
Stella Werner was elected president of the county council in 1959 under a new council-manager form of government. An editorial in the Washington Post recognized this milestone, hailing her as “one of the outstanding public leaders of the county for many years,” who stood for “progressive policies and sound governmental practices.” Yet, in the 1962 county council election, Stella Werner was targeted and defeated by Diggs’ County Above Party. Like Floreen’s fund today, Diggs’ fund was created and financed by real estate development folks, and also claimed to be nonpartisan, independent, and solely interested in putting the good of the county above party affiliation. Thus, a tumultuous time in our community began back then with zoning that was disorderly at best. In 1966, a fierce political backlash soundly defeated Kathryn Diggs, but not before some serious damage was done. As the Washington Post recounted back then, “the behavior of Ms. Diggs and her colleagues was scurrilous.”
According to a recent Washington Post article, Floreen’s “County Above Party so far has raised $445,250 to boost her campaign.” And like the Diggs’ campaign, Floreen’s County Above Party is busy demonizing her opposition with tasteless political advertisements.
And, in addition to the $1 million Floreen expects to raise for her direct campaign including the $300,000 she raised in a little over six weeks to fund her petition drive to get on the ballot, almost all of the money comes from real estate and developer interests.
Floreen claims to be interested in the overall performance of the county’s economy. Should she not be held accountable for capitulating to one segment of that economy — the real estate and development sector that comprises 90 percent of her donor base? We think so. Why didn’t she run for County Executive last spring like her colleagues? We wonder.
The year 1962, when the infamous Kathryn Diggs replaced the progressive reformer Stella Werner in the highest elected office in county government, was also the year another prominent Montgomery County woman, Rachel Carson, published Silent Spring and kick-started today’s environmental movement.
Women are no strangers to exercising public leadership in Montgomery County. We value their many contributions. But, we vote based on qualification and record. We do not vote strictly on gender. And that is why thousands of women across a broad spectrum of county demographics and civic organizations are supporting “Women for Marc Elrich for County Executive.”
Diana Conway, Vice President, Woman’s Democratic Club
Lisa Rubinstein Fuller, Founder, MoCo Women
Mimi Hassanein, Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee
Minh Le, Chevy Chase Village Board Member
Susan Lee, State Senator
Kathleen Matthews, Chair, Maryland Democratic Party
Fran Rothstein, President, Woman’s Democratic Club
Laurie-Anne Sayles, Gaithersburg City Council Member
*Affiliations are for identification purposes only