The 2012 presidential election might be barely in the country’s rear view, but in Montgomery County, politicos are already looking to the 2014 race and who will run for county executive.
Two years ago, incumbent County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) said publicly he would not seek re-election in 2014, potentially leaving a wide-open race for the county’s top spot.
When it comes to 2014, Leggett said he has not changed his mind, despite frequent inquiries of his plans.
With the 2014 primary less than two years away, at least two people have said they plan to pursue Leggett’s seat.
Councilmen Philip M. Andrews and George L. Leventhal have confirmed they are pursuing campaigns for executive.
“I am going to run for county executive,” said Andrews (D-Dist. 3) of Gaithersburg.
“I’m making plans to run for county executive,” said Leventhal (D-At large) of Takoma Park.
State Del. Benjamin Kramer (D-Dist. 19) of Derwood said he is considering a bid, but will wait to see what Leggett does.
“I have had a number of meetings with our current county executive, seeking his advice and guidance,” Kramer said. “Ultimately, much of my decision will be based on what he chooses to do, and should he seek re-election to a third term, he has my full support.”
But should Leggett stand by his previous statement and not run, Kramer has been meeting with his supporters and exploring a race for executive.
Councilman Marc B. Elrich (D-At large) of Takoma Park said he too is waiting to see what Leggett does before he decides his plan for 2014. He described his current plans as “open.”
“If Ike runs, I won’t run for executive,” Elrich said. “If he decides not to run, I might go for it.”
No others rumored to be considering bids for executive have declared their plans.
Steve Silverman challenged Leggett for executive in 2006 but would not say if he was or was not planning to run for the position again.
Silverman, who is the current county Economic Development director, said his focus right now is only on growing Montgomery County’s tax base and creating jobs.
Councilwoman Valerie Ervin noted that a woman has never been Montgomery County Executive and that in 2014 that could change.
When asked her plans, Ervin (D-Dist. 5) of Silver Spring said she is still exploring her options.
Councilwoman Nancy Floreen would also not disclose any plans, nor would former Councilwoman Duchy Trachtenberg.
Said Floreen: “I’m running for something.”
“All options are on the table right now,” Trachtenberg said in an email, “and it’s premature to confirm anything right now one way or another.” When Trachtenberg left the council in 2010, she made it clear that was not the end of her political career.
As many wait to see what Leggett will do, Elrich said he is also watching other races, including those for county council.
Council President Roger Berliner (D-Dist. 1) of Bethesda along with Council Vice President Nancy Navarro (D-Dist. 4) of Silver Spring and Councilmen Hans Riemer (D-At large) of Takoma Park and Craig L. Rice (D-Dist. 2) of Germantown have all said they plan to seek reelection to the county council.
Former County Executive Douglas M. Duncan could not be reached for comment.