Sometimes it is difficult to comprehend the importance of keeping up with national news and international news when our influence upon it, for most of us, boils down to a solitary vote every 2 – 4 years – one out of millions.
Not so at the county level. Down here, there are candidates you might actually meet, issues you could easily have a direct influence on, and a pool of voters in the thousands rather than the millions. You can be a player on the county level!
And start now!
The next statewide election is coming up in the next few months.
This will be a Gubernatorial election in which voters will choose candidates for many different offices.
The Primary Election will be held on Tuesday, July 19, 2022 and the General Election will be held on Tuesday, November 8, 2022. The date of the Primary Election was postponed from June 28 to July 19. The League of Women Voters has listed all the positions included in the elections. (see HERE)
You will have a chance to vote for candidates for U.S. Senator, Congressional Representatives, Governor, Comptroller, Attorney General, State Senators and Delegates, judges for the Court of Appeals and several Montgomery County offices.
Of the county positions, the most prominent will be the position of County Executive. This person is essentially the chief executive officer for Montgomery County and is the staff person for the County Council. In recent times, Ike Leggett held the position for many years. In 2018, Democrat Marc Elrich was elected and is finishing a four-year term. He is running to stay in office. Running against him in the primary are four other male Democrats, one of whom is David Blair who lost the primary four years ago by 70 votes, is a self-made businessman, and is seen as somewhat more pro-business. Other contenders are Hans Reimer, Tom Hucker, and Peter James.
But possibly the most watched contests will be the county council positions. The county voted last year to go from five (5) to seven (7) district seats in addition to the four (4) at-large seats, thus raising the total number of councilmembers from nine (9) to eleven (11). To do so, two brand new districts were created out of the original five. Consideration was given to both the growth ethnic minorities in Montgomery County as well as the difficulty Upcounty residents have had in being fairly represented. Needless to say, there are many new faces in the running, faces that reflect the growing diversity of the county. See new district map HERE.
In addition, several of the Board of Education positions, which also include district-specific and at-large positions, are being contested. For more information, see HERE.
These are the folks who will be facilitating such critical local decisions as mask mandates, police presence in the schools, business revitalization, affordable housing, new transit lines, etc.
On a personal note, I have found that the more up-to-speed I stay on local politics, the more aware I am of what is going on right around me, the more connected I feel, and the more empowered I am to make a difference in my own community.
While you know your voice counts in national and state elections, it can be hard to believe. In local elections, you know you’re making a difference. It’s a good feeling!