With Leggett in executive race, others are out -- Gazette.Net


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County Executive Isiah Leggett’s much anticipated announcement that he will seek re-election is adding shape to a previously amorphous field of executive candidates for 2014. With Leggett now running, a few on-the-fence candidates are staying out.

Councilman George L. Leventhal was considering running for executive, but said in February that Leggett was on a path to victory — an opinion he still holds.

“I think Ike Leggett is going to be re-elected,” he said last week.

Leventhal (D) of Takoma Park said it is “highly likely” he will now run for re-election to a fourth term in his at-large seat on the County Council.

State Del. Benjamin F. Kramer — whose father, Sidney Kramer, served as executive in the late 1980s — also said he will not challenge Leggett for the job.

In November, Kramer (D-Dist. 19) of Derwood said he was mulling an executive bid, but that he would wait for Leggett to announce his plans.

Now that Leggett is in, Kramer said he is out and most likely will seek re-election to his seat in the Maryland General Assembly.

Leggett has earned the opportunity for another term as executive, Kramer said.

“I think that most residents, the majority, are very comfortable with the job Mr. Leggett has done as county executive,” he said. “I don’t see them having any reason to believe that the current county executive is not doing a proper job and I believe, in fact, they will be very confident and comfortable with him in the future.”

“I’m going to support him,” Councilman Marc B. Elrich said. “I think he has a very good chance of winning.”

Like Leventhal and Kramer, Elrich (D-At large) of Takoma Park also eyed the county’s top spot, but said all along he would not challenge Leggett for it.

For 2014, Elrich said he will seek re-election to his current position.

Councilwoman Nancy Floreen (D-At large) of Garrett Park would previously only say she was running for some elected office in 2014.

She said Thursday she will seek re-election to the County Council.

Councilwoman Valerie Ervin (D-Dist. 5) of Silver Spring has formed an exploratory committee to consider a run for executive. On Tuesday, Ervin would not yet detail her plans, saying that she would disclose “in about a week.”

As others back out, the two candidates who came out of the gate early are not backing down.

Leggett’s announcement changes nothing for Councilman Philip M. Andrews, the only candidate as of Tuesday who has filed his candidacy paperwork, according to the state Board of Elections website.

“I think there is a contrast here between the past, present and future,” Andrews (D-Dist. 3) of Gaithersburg said of the field.

Former County Executive Douglas M. Duncan said he, too, is pressing forward with his campaign and welcomes a debate with Leggett as the race continues.

“I’m excited he is in it. It’s good for the county,” Duncan said.

kalexander@gazette.net