By Abby Cruz
Democrats will retain all nine seats on the County Council with Will Jawando, Hans Riemer, Evan Glass and Gabe Albornoz sweeping the at-large Council seats.
The 2018 election was a new opportunity for voters, with four open Council seats on the ballot. Glass led the at-large votes with 229,339 votes; Albornoz won 224,366 votes; Jawondo won 222,040 votes and Riemer won 217,384 votes.
The newly elected at-large council members, along with Riemer who won reelection Tuesday night traveled to All Set Restaurant & Bar in downtown Silver Spring.
“I expect here in Montgomery County that we elect a great, strong Democratic team that will guarantee opportunities for all the people who live here,” said Democratic candidate Will Jawando as he greeted voters. “And I expect nationally that were going to take back the House of Representatives and be competitive in the Senate.”
Jawando explained that since he lived in Montgomery County his entire life, he knows personally what the issues are and what the community truly needs.
“The idea that you can come here go to a good school, afford to live here, work a good job and retire with dignity– those things are slipping way from a lot of people,” said Jawando. “I really think that this council, coming in with the leaders that we’ve elected, with me getting on, that really can really start to do just that.”
In addition to the candidates, local voters from the area came out to show their support and expressed their reasons for attending the watch party.
“I hope to see change, especially in housing,” said James Privette, 26, a voter who currently resides in Beltsville. “You know, we have a lot of issues in the surrounding areas; they are overpriced, especially for people who are just trying to survive every day.”
Privette said the voter turnout truly surprised him and that he wishes that more people, especially the youth, would come out and support candidates.
“The turnout is great,” he said. “To see different type of people. But I would like to see a little more younger people, like 17-32, especially in this area; we have to find a way to get them involved in politics.”
During the party, the Democratic candidates took the time to introduce themselves and give a short speech to the crowd.
“It is going to take all of us working together in sustaining that broad coalition to meet the full potential of this council,” Democratic Candidate Gabe Albornoz told the crowd. “And I have extreme confidence that we will be able to achieve that.”
Democratic candidate Hans Riemer also spoke to the crowd enthusiastically. “We can do this if we do this together,” he said. “So let’s work together to support our schools, support college, support our work force development, support our seniors and our children. Let’s make progress on pre-K, rebuild housing; let’s build schools;”
The Republican and Green candidates could not be reached for comment as of midnight, when the votes were counted.
The totals were: Democrats: Glass; 229,339; Albornoz, 224,366; Jawondo, 222,040; Riemer 217,384.
Republicans: Dyer, 73,585; Fiotes, JR, 63,815; Musser, 66,287; Skolnick 67,960.