From 9 to 11: Montgomery County Council Set for Shake Up

The race for Montgomery County Council is shaping up to be one of the most transformative races statewide. 

The Council is set for a series of major changes this cycle as several long-time members are term-limited out and a voter-backed charter amendment expanding the size of the body takes effect. The primary is particularly important in the deep blue jurisdiction, as in nearly all races the winner of the Democratic primary goes on to win the general election. All results reflected below are as of 10:30 AM, July 20, from the Maryland State Board of Elections.

Question C

During the 2020 general election, Montgomery County voters backed Question C which added two additional council districts, expanding the Council from nine seats to 11. The incoming Council will be comprised of seven district seats and four at-large seats.

At-Large Seats

The race for the four at-large seats was incredibly crowded, with eight contenders vying for four seats. As of the morning of July 20th, incumbents Evan Glass (over 42,000 votes), Will Jawando (over 40,000 votes), and Gabe Albornoz (nearly 36,000 votes), along with Laurie-Anne Sayles (over 31,000 votes) so far lead the pack. But a significant number of mail-in ballots remain to be counted. It is likely that there will still be shifts in the order or even the make of the bottom half of this set.

Christopher P. Fiotes, Lenard Lieber, and Dwight Patel ran unopposed in the Republican primary and will be on the ballot in November.

District Seats

All but one district is currently set to be competitive, and only two districts have incumbents. Baring any write-in upsets, Andrew Freidson who represents District 1 is set to sail into reelection with no opponents.

District 2 – Balcombe v. Cuba

In the Democratic primary, Marylin Balcombe is the apparent winner, beating her nearest rival by over 1200 votes or 18 percent. In November she will face Dan Cuba who was unopposed in the Republican Primary.

District 3

Incumbent Sidney Katz won the Democratic primary, receiving nearly 1800 votes or 25 percent over his nearest rival. In the general election, Katz will face George Hernandez who was unopposed in the Republican Primary.

District 4

In the Democratic primary, Kate Stewart is the winner with a lead of nearly 1700 votes or 14 percent over her nearest rival. In the general election, Stewart will face Cheryl Riley who was unopposed in the Republican Primary.

District 5

Kristin Mink is the winner of the District 5 Democratic Primary, with a lead of nearly 1400 votes or 14 percent over her nearest rival. In the general election, Mink will face Kate Woody who was unopposed in the Republican Primary.

District 6

In the Democratic primary, Natali Fani Gonzalez is the winner, beating her nearest rival by over 3300 votes or 37 percent. In November Gonzalez will face Viet H. Doan who was unopposed in the Republican Primary.

District 7

Dawn Luedtke is the apparent winner of the District 7 Democratic Primary, with a lead of nearly 600 votes or seven percent over her nearest rival. In the general election, Luedtke will face Harold C. Maldonado who was unopposed in the Republican Primary.

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Please note that vote counts are incomplete. Election officials still have to count mail-in and provisional ballots. For context, more than 500,000 Marylanders requested a mail-in ballot for this year’s primary, and those remaining votes are likely to be material to many contested races. However, local boards of elections cannot begin to canvass mail-in votes until Thursday, July 21.  For editorial purposes, MACo coverage will describe any races where the top runner-up remains within 10 percent of the apparent winner(s) as “pending” and those results as “apparent.”

MACo’s election coverage and analysis relies on unofficial results published by the State Board of Elections. Official results will follow after a full accounting of pending votes. Given delays in processing an unprecedented number of mail-in ballots, MACo advises readers that any close unofficial results are subject to realignment in the days ahead.

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