Congratulations Hans, Vince, Phil, Tommy, Mel and others
While the primary defeat of DC's sitting mayor is the main headline in nearly every news outlet this morning, another significant and very exciting challenger victory is Hans Riemer placing
third second in the Montgomery County Council at-large race.
The top four vote-getters win the nomination (and, inevitably, the seats themselves in November), meaning Riemer will be a county councilmember. Duchy Trachtenberg was edged out by Riemer and the other three incumbents.
Riemer's ascension to the council will make Smart Growth and sustainable transportation a more central issue in council debates. Where today, members seem largely to fall into either the camp of either or opposing or supporting both growth in the right place along with growth in the wrong place, or bad transportation projects along with good ones, Riemer's presence will push members to really discern which projects meet the county's broader goals.
It's too bad Royce Hanson won't be joining Riemer in Rockville, as Craig Rice decisively defeated him for the upcounty District 2 seat. Down in Purple Line Ground Zero around Bethesda and Chevy Chase, voters chose to keep the incumbents in the Council and state legislature rather than picking candidates for a consistent position for or against this or other controversial projects in the area.
Faith in voters' intelligence was upheld as they avoided getting confused by Michael D. Brown's name similarity to sitting councilmember Michael A. Brown, perhaps thanks to polls that woke DC residents up to the danger. Phil Mendelson ended up winning reelection with 63% of the vote. Tommy Wells, meanwhile, scored the highest percentage (75%) of votes in any of the DC Council contested primaries.
As expected, Kwame Brown, Jim Graham, Harry Thomas Jr., and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton cruised to victory. Brown's win sets the stage for a hotly-contested special election for council at-large in the spring.
In other good news, Rushern Baker will be County Executive, and Mel Franklin looks to have won the District 9 council seat in Prince George's County. We endorsed Franklin over real estate-backed Sydney Harrison, who had raised more money than all other candidates in the county and would have continued the bad sprawl policies of his predecessor, Marilynn Bland, in this district encompassing the rural part of the county. Many feared that Franklin and Tamara Davis Brown, both good candidates, might split sympathetic voters, letting Harrison buy the seat, but that scenario appears to have been averted.
Several Maryland Senate races are too close to call, including Joanne Benson's effort to unseat Nathaniel Exum in Prince George's District 24, and Karen Montgomery's challenge to incumbent Senator Rona Kramer in eastern Montgomery. Saqib Ali has fallen short in his bid to knock off Nancy King in District 39 outside Gaithersburg, while Roger Manno unseated Senator Mike Lennett in the central Montgomery District 19. Good candidate and friend-of-a-friend Sam Arora made it into the House of Delegates in that district.
Update: Hans Riemer actually placed second, not third, pulling decisively ahead of Nancy Floreen at the end for the number two finish.
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