Montgomery County Council races attract new blood -- Gazette.Net


Two candidates with experience on the fringes of presidential politics have joined the race for spots on the Montgomery County Council.

Gaithersburg Democrat Neda Bolourian has filed to run for the District 2 seat currently held by Council Vice President Craig Rice, while Dickerson Democrat Beth Daly will run for one of the council’s four at-large seats.

Democratic Central Committee member Vivian Malloy of Olney will run as an at-large candidate, while Silver Spring community activist Evan Glass recently announced that he’ll run as a Democrat for the District 5 seat currently held by Councilwoman Valerie Ervin (D).

While both Bolourian and Daly are relative novices to running for office, both have gathered experience working on major political campaigns.

Daly, 51, directed a team in charge of buying advertising for Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign and also worked on Clinton’s 1996 re-election, and worked as a staffer for former Ohio Sen. Howard Metzenbaum (D).

Bolourian, 31, worked for President Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns.

She ran for the House of Delegates from District 15 in 2006, but withdrew shortly after filing because of an illness in her family.

Bolourian, an attorney who works in Bethesda, said she has always been interested in public policy.

“I adore politics, but mostly I’ve always been interested in public service,” she said.

She said she was partly motivated to run by the income disparity in Montgomery County.

While she was in law school at the University of the District of Columbia, she worked with low-income people at a variety of clinics.

She sees lots of her friends in the county working multiple jobs and still barely getting by, she said.

Bolourian was also motivated by the council’s decision to approve a pay increase for the council seated in 2014, which she said was troubling given the current economic situation in the county.

A native of Damascus who attended Damascus High School, Bolourian would also like to focus on addressing mental health and substance abuse issues, the possibility of lowering income and property taxes, finding more funding for no-kill animal shelters.

Rice said having an opponent wouldn’t really change the way he campaigns for 2014, which he said he plans to make more active in January or February.

Daly, the director of political sales in Telemundo’s Washington, D.C., offices, plans to focus her campaign on issues such as affordable housing, responsible growth and traffic and transportation.

She lived in downtown Bethesda before she was married and now lives in Dickerson, and said she hopes to use that experience of having lived both upcounty and downcounty to bring a fresh perspective to the council.

The current council hasn’t done a good enough job of balancing growth with the police, fire, education, roads and other public infrastructure necessary to support it, she said.

Growth is an issue from Clarksburg to Chevy Chase, not an upcounty or downcounty issue, and the council would benefit from more perspective on upcounty issues, she said.

The council’s at-large seats currently held by Democrats Marc Elrich, Nancy Floreen, George Leventhal and Hans Riemer.