Leventhal: Conditions ideal for Leggett’s third run -- Gazette.Net



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County Executive Isiah Leggett might be waiting to declare his intentions for 2014, but one man mulling a run for Leggett’s job says the two-term executive appears to be setting up the ideal plot to win. The rest of the field, however, does not agree.

“I think Ike has laid out the best possible scenario for winning,” Councilman George L. Leventhal said of the 2014 executive race.

The number of council members potentially running and Leggett’s campaign account work to the executive’s favor, Leventhal said.

Also in the mix is Douglas M. Duncan, the guy who used to have Leggett’s job.

With Duncan’s latest campaign finance report indicating slow fundraising since announcing his candidacy, Leventhal said the race isn’t yet competitive. Duncan raised only $10,000 recently, according to his January filing.

Leggett is sitting on the biggest pot of money, about $420,000, and if he runs, will have an incumbent’s edge.

Leggett, who last year said he would not run for a third term, likened the whole idea to the grassy knoll theory in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

“That’s weird stuff,” Leggett said.

Announcing his personal political plans now, in the midst of budget preparations, labor negotiations and lobbying efforts in Annapolis would be selfish, Leggett said.

When the General Assembly wraps, the county budget is approved and he finally has time to sit down with groups asking for his time, Leggett said then he will make a decision about the upcoming executive race.

Four council members — just shy of a quorum — either have thrown their hats into the ring or are considering runs, including Leventhal, Philip M. Andrews, Valerie Ervin and Marc B. Elrich.

Leventhal (D-At large) of Takoma Park said previously he was planning a run for executive but has not formally entered the race.

Ervin (D-Dist. 5) of Silver Spring recently said she has formed an exploratory committee, is raising money and is forming a team. Elrich (D-At large) of Takoma Park said previously that if Leggett is out, he might be in.

But Leggett’s intentions are of no concern to the only two candidates officially in the executive race at this point.

“It is immaterial to my campaign what Ike Leggett does,” Andrews (D-Dist. 3) of Gaithersburg said.

“I think we’re going to have a lot of people running,” Duncan said. “I think that’s exciting and good for the county and good for debate. I welcome anybody and everybody get into race.”

Ervin, who is still on the sidelines, said she would not refrain from entering the race if Leggett chose to go for round three in the county’s top spot.

Leventhal would not detail his plan should Leggett declare, saying only it would force all those in the mix to reconsider their plans.

Leventhal said he was previously under the impression from Leggett that the executive was not running for re-election, an assertion Leventhal now doubts.

“It’s all highly favorable for Ike,” Leventhal said. “I think voters deserve a choice but it doesn’t look like they are going to get it.”

kalexander@gazette.net