The Skinny on the Election Tomorrow in Montgomery County MD

How do we influence ‘the system’?  We can protest in the streets, write letters to elected officials, write op-ed articles (if anyone will print them), show up at public forums, sign petitions, join civic groups, etc.

But most of this is supplementary.  Most legislature will or will not come about depending on who our elected officials are in the first place.  You know, the people showing up, studying the issues, making deals behind closed doors, wrangling their colleagues, getting things done.  Or not.  That’s where ‘the system’ really changes.

And that’s what we get to set up – for success or failure – in our elections.

There will be six different municipalities/jurisdictions holding elections in Montgomery County tomorrow:

  1. President of the United States
  2. U.S. Senator from Maryland
  3. U.S. Congress Representative from District 6 (upcounty) and District 8 (downcounty)
  4. Judge of Circuit Court
  5. Delegates for Party National Convention
  6. MCPS Board of Education

Tomorrow’s election is a PRIMARY election.  That means that for most races, you will only be voting for your party’s candidate, not for the other party’s candidate.  At the end of this election, each party will have selected ONE candidate to run in the GENERAL election in November.  The exception will be the Board of Education whose candidates are not required to be committed to any political party.

#4 and #5 are less contested and not significantly funded so unless you happen to know one of the candidates or are deep into the issues, you may choose not to vote in these.  I hate to say that but it’s the reality.

#1.  This will be THE contest of the year but not until November.  For the primary election tomorrow, there is little doubt that Donald Trump will win the Republican contest and Joe Biden will win the Democratic contest.  But of course you can still vote for any of the much less well-known candidates for these positions in either party.

#2. In blue Montgomery County, this was shaping up to be a contest between the two Democratic front-runners, David Trone (current congressman from 6th district) and challenger Angela Alsobrooks.  Then former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan decided to run on the Republican ticket.  Needless to say, his experience as a governor and his centrist approach now makes this a VERY contested race in November.

#3.  You probably live either in the 6th district (Gaithersburg & upcounty) or the 8th district (Rockville and downcounty).  In district 6, the leading Democratic candidates are Laurie-Ann Sayles (current County Councilwoman), April Delaney (who worked for Biden administration and is spouse of former congressman John Delaney), and Joe Vogel (relative new face).

#6.  Three Board of Education positions are up for grabs: at-large, district 2, and district 4.  In each case, the incumbent is running: Lynne Harris, Rebecca Smondrowski, and Shebra Evans, respectively.

If this is all very overwhelming, I would recommend choosing one race you feel is most important to you and drill down into the website of the two or three leading candidates, get a feel for what makes them tick, talk to friends or those who are more connected to the public arena for their opinion, and make your decision.  You want to be an informed voter but that doesn’t mean you have to be an expert.

Personally, I have come to appreciate the more local jurisdictions: it’s more personal, you can actually meet the candidates and talk to them one-one-one, and you feel like your vote and participation in the process matter more.

I have a soft place in my heart for politicians.  They are the secular version of a pastor; they’re shepherds.  They take care of the group.  It’s not easy work and it’s fraught with error.  But somebody’s got to do it.  They show up.

Please vote tomorrow.  For more information on the candidates, go here:




  1. Joyce Mason says

    People should participate
    The problem with the November election is that the popular vote does not determine the President.

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