All posts by David Lublin

Montgomery’s Undervalued Gem

In votes on the Montgomery County budget, Councilmember Craig Rice expressed deep unhappiness about the process and cuts to the Montgomery College (MC) budget:

Montgomery College’s budget was severely cut which could mean even greater increases in tuition than originally proposed, reductions to strategic programs designed to reduce the achievement gap and eliminate disparities, or reductions in staff pay. And none of these things will help us to address workforce disparities that our community college has been partners with us on fixing for many years…

I can’t speak to the process, though the last time I saw Craig speak out publicly in this way was to defend constituents against George Leventhal’s atrocious behavior on the dais. I also am not knowledgeable to assess MC staff pay.

What I can tell you is that Montgomery College is the least discussed major asset in the county and does far more good than will ever get mentioned. In particular, it does more to promote upward mobility than any other institution.

For starters, it provides an affordable, accessible path to a college education. The idea of taking out ginormous loans to pay for an away-from-home school like UMD understandably scares the bejeezus out of many people who loathe debt and have never seen remotely that much money. It’s also not the most cost effective way to pay for a college education. The cost effectiveness of MC also means that government gets far more bang for its buck in terms of outcomes.

MC makes it possible for students to live at home and pursue degrees at their own pace, commonly while holding down a job to support themselves or help defray the far more affordable cost. Students who earn their associates degree are also then well prepared, if they choose, to pursue a four-year degree at a college like UMD.

Another virtue of many of MC’s educational programs is that they are geared toward obtaining practical skills in various areas that lend themselves to employment immediately upon graduation in fields as diverse as teaching, hotel management, nursing, and cybersecurity. As a result, it provides students with skills that result in higher wage employment and employers with more highly skilled employees, which makes Montgomery a more attractive place to do business.

Additionally, MC provides needed vocational training. Too often, education is talked about in terms of college or nothing. But not everyone wants to or is going to college and a lot of jobs require skills. As anyone who has hired a plumber or had their or A/C unit fixed knows, many non-professional jobs pay a lot better than unskilled labor.

In short, what MC provides is a range of real opportunities for students looking to move up the ladder at an affordable cost to both the students and the government. Ramping up institutions like the University of Maryland has aided the state and DC suburbs enormously. But we should not underrate the role played by Montgomery College is not just training students but also providing many different employers with skilled workers.

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Madaleno Gains Baltimore County Endorsements

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz naturally gathered up a lot of endorsements in his home base. His sudden passing has left open a lot of support that would’ve otherwise understandably gone to Kamenetz up for grabs.

Looks like Rich Madaleno, who I support, is gaining at least a share of that support with endorsements from the West Baltimore County Democratic Club and the Baltimore Progressive Democrats  Club. The endorsements reported in the press release include support from Sen. Delores Kelley (D-10):

State Senator Delores Kelley, a key member of the West Baltimore County Democratic Club, stated, “If you want a Governor who is already up to speed on greater opportunities inherent in the State budget for all Maryland jurisdictions, a team committed to smart growth for every economic sector, to better resourcing of public education at all levels, and a Lieutenant-Governor with actual executive experience in Maryland  State  government, then join me in voting for Rich Madaleno and Luwanda Jenkins.”

Robert Benjamin, President of the Baltimore County Progressive Democrats Club, called Madaleno “the most progressive voice” among the primary candidates:

As a group, our club decided that Rich Madaleno is the most progressive voice in the pack of Democratic candidates vying to challenge Larry Hogan in November – and who is well-positioned to successfully do so. Baltimore County progressives need a candidate like him who can bring people together and speak to a wide segment of the population, because unity is what it will take to vote Hogan out.

Madaleno fell just short of also gaining the Central Baltimore County Democratic Club, beating Ben Jealous 57% to 19% but below the group’s 60% endorsement threshold.

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On Marc Elrich and Socialism

After all this time, it still often ends up amazing me how much fracas a single turn of phrase can cause. Adam’s recent comment referring to Marc Elrich as “a decades-long socialist” has been one of those moments.

In many ways, I saw Adam’s description as  a stereotype of how many voters will see Marc. Adam has also argued with justification that it’s simply true. Moreover, while it’s tempting to say “labels are for cans,” they are also highly useful shortcuts in identifying political views and general outlook.

The problem here is the way the word “socialism” has been used in American politics. Back in the day of the Soviet Union, well within the lifespan of the bulk of Democratic primary voters, socialism was often used as a synonym for communism. The full name of the USSR, after all, was the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Americans rightly reviled this soul-destroying system that murdered millions of people and was imposed on the peoples of Eastern and East-Central Europe after World War II.

However, as Nik Sushka explained on the Seventh State Facebook page:

There is a chasm of difference between the DSA and the way “socialism” is used against people on the left. If you like public schools, public safety, public libraries, public defense, and public transit—including public roads—then you like Democratic socialism so far. If you want public health care and public utilities—including net neutrality—you might desire greater “socialism.”

Can we at least try to have a fair conversation about why these distinctions exist and why a candidate trying to defend his record on supporting business and robust economies might say—hey, stop saying I have a “socialist” business agenda?

I disagree with Marc Elrich on various issues. The liquor monopoly needs to go and Adam isn’t wrong that it’s among the more “socialist” of county policies. But it was created before Marc arrived on the scene and is a legitimate topic for debate. Rent stabilization is also a bad idea, but Marc would be the first to tell you it’s not on Montgomery’s agenda.

Marc also holds many positions that I admire. While the Washington Post wants to cast him as Dr. No, he’s the guy who brought the creation of a BRT system for Montgomery to the agenda. Far more affordable than light rail or heavy rail – we would have saved literally billions of dollars if the Purple Line had been planned this way – it provides a real means to provide a transportation system for Montgomery. In other words, it addresses traffic concerns of existing residents yet also paves the way for additional development and economic growth.

Marc also is known as the guy on the Council who goes around to every neighborhood in the County and listens and talks to people. His argument that infrastructure for schools, police, fire, and so forth should match the pace of new development is seemingly radical to many on the current Council. It’s not to residents.

Ditto on the idea that one needs to be sensitive to the impact of new development on existing neighborhoods. Change will occur but it doesn’t have to mean placing a 20-story building right next to a single-family home in the name of “you can’t stop progress!”

In many ways, I saw Marc and Adam as talking past one another. Marc’s reply struck me as not a denial of being a democratic socialist but as being in the thoughtful vein of “OK, what does this term mean in this day and age, and for how I would govern as county executive” and that he’s practical rather than an ideologue.

Whatever you think of Marc’s views, I see remarkable consistency is the way he presents himself in various forums, questionnaires, and the like. What you see is what you get.

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Marc Elrich Responds to Adam Pagnucco

Today, I am pleased to present a guest blog by Councilmember Marc Elrich (D-At Large), a candidate for county executive, that responds to a piece posted by Adam yesterday:

First of all, I’ve made my views pretty clear on “socialism.”  You would be hard-put to classify me, but I’ve been pretty clear that I think in terms of blending aspects of both major isms – which is pretty much what most European societies, which are largely democratic socialist, believe and what modern American society reflects, at least up to the present, with minimum wages, 40 hour weeks, social security, Medicare, child worker laws and health insurance.  My interest is in finding solutions that make sense – I’m not an idealogue. I have spent 12 years on the Montgomery County Council and I have yet to introduce a SINGLE piece of socialist legislation (whatever that is). I don’t think about my job that way.

 Most of what I’ve proposed over the years has been passed with 8-1 or 9-0 votes, so this fear of “socialism” is frankly nuts – I don’t have a socialist agenda that I’m trying bring here.  Now if socialism means expecting developers to adequately contribute to schools and transportation, I’ll point out that that’s not socialism, it’s simply not wanting to allow developers who substantially benefit from public decisions on zoning, to externalize the costs of providing infrastructure on to the public.  I do not believe in zero growth – I believe in responsible growth – and when I work with communities I’m pretty straight-forward about stating that change will come and my goal is to make sure that the people who live here participate in shaping that change. When there’s no viable plan for schools, or transportation, or other promised amenities in a Master or Sector Plan then, yes, I will and do vote against it.  Again, hardly socialism.

Second I never equated transit-oriented development with “ethnic cleansing”, I voted for the Purple Line which I wouldn’t have done if I thought that. I never said that TOD equates with “ethnic cleansing” and my BRT approach supports TOD.  I made a specific accusation about a specific planning board recommendation about a specific part of the plan that would have displaced thousands of people who would have had little to no chance of remaining in the area, let alone in the County.  The only nexus to the PL was that the plan was being done in response to it and, in this case, the Planning Board way over-reached. In a public session review of the plan, I said, “Couldn’t we for once just let the people who live here stay here after we fix a place up?” and no one responded or changed anything.  It was only when I dramatized it by calling it “ethnic cleansing”, in an onsite meeting with staff of the Council and PB, did anything get fixed: less than a week later the proposal was withdrawn; it was withdrawn on July 22, 2013 because of the possible implications of the zoning that had been proposed and its impacts on our affordable housing goals. The recommendation to remove was a 3-0 vote on committee, and it happened in a blink of the eye. Never seen so much land rezoned so fast. So in that particular instance, existing affordable housing was preserved because of my comments and involvement.   More broadly though, the PL will cause gentrification and almost everyone involved, except for a few who are uncomfortable with confronting anything that might taint their rosy scenario, knows it. The whole point of the Purple Line Compact was to create a multi-party agreement between the State and the Counties to have in place programs that would prevent, or at least minimize, the displacement of small businesses and existing residents. Everyone knew this was coming, and my saying it isn’t some stark new revelation.  But we all know that there is no compact because none of the parties would commit do anything to ameliorate what they know is coming down the road. So they changed the word “compact” to “agreement” which is toothless, devoid of funding or requirements to act; it is basically an agreement to worry about what might happen and to hope that someone comes up with a bright idea or two that, preferably, don’t have any costs attached.

Lastly, while I do favor a limited rent stabilization – one that would allow for larger rent increases for repairs or operating costs when they exceed the CPI, and it would not apply to new construction or buildings with existing MPDU’s or otherwise rent limited units – I never had the votes on the council to even discuss it and would expect the same from the next council. I would welcome an honest conversation about it, without any labels attached. I’ve always proposed that the County evaluate different strategies with an eye to what would result in the largest stock of affordable housing 20 or 30 years down the road.  And I’d be interested to hear how others would solve the problem of disappearing affordable housing: the recently approved Bethesda master plan would result in fewer affordable units than we have today. And we simply can’t build enough moderately priced dwelling units (MPDUs) to keep up. And we’re not building housing for the thousands who are too poor for MPDUs and spend 50-60% of their income on housing. By contrast, Takoma Park has had decades of rent stabilization, which has provided numerous families with stable housing. It’s not a perfect system but it has been an important tool to preserve affordable units as the area has grown in popularity and housing prices there have skyrocketed.  And Takoma Park has increased in desirability and popularity and is proud of its diversity of population.

So while the urban legends are amusing, they’re not who am and they don’t reflect what I do.

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Remembering Kevin Kamenetz and Valerie Ervin’s Decision

I spend a lot of time (too much time) watching candidates and talking with them. Being from Montgomery County, I didn’t really know much about Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz before he entered the race.

Remembering Kevin Kamenetz

I had a chance to sit down and talk with him and watched him in debates and forums and he kinda grew on me. He wasn’t the best public speaker in the race but he had a long record of political involvement and experience that meant he could talk easily and in detail about many of the key issues facing Maryland.

Even more critically, he had grappled with many of them. As a result of this experience and representing a swing county, Kamenetz understood that people have a wide range of views and issues are often complicated but also how to make progress on them.

But until I read an article recapping his career in the Baltimore Sun, I didn’t know about Kevin Kamenetz’s work on affordable housing:

Housing was also a battleground in the changing county. Many fought against a program in the 1990s to allow poor city residents to move to the county. The NAACP and other groups filed a federal housing complaint against the county in 2011 alleging discriminatory policies.

It was resolved in 2016 with an agreement signed by Kamenetz that calls for the county to spend millions of dollars to support the construction of affordable housing in neighborhoods lacking it.

“I think it was his leadership that brought the administration to the plate,” [NAACP County Branch President] Fugett said. The settlement “may not be a popular decision,” Fugett said, but Kamenetz “always tried to do the right thing.”

Affordable housing is one of the most unbelievably difficult issues. Localities will go to the mat and beyond to fight the placement of low-income housing in their area. It’s a difficult issue and powerful efforts to force acceptance of affordable housing have usually failed in the face of strong opposition.

In short, there was no political hay to be made on this issue. Nevertheless, Kamenetz got it done, and he got it done in a very low key manner. One of the secrets of politics is that the best accomplishments are often the ones that go unnoticed precisely because they were done carefully in a way that minimized opposition and thus allowed progress to be made.

In an era that celebrates newness, often derides political experience and increasingly celebrates radical change, this sort of politics is underappreciated. Unlike sweeping promises that die on the rocks of reality, getting this done will make a meaningful difference in real people’s lives.

Valerie Ervin’s Decision

In the wake of Kevin Kamenetz’s untimely and sad passing, many of us learned for the first time that Maryland law allows the surviving running mate of a gubernatorial candidate to choose a new running mate and even to switch positions on the ballot. Consequently, Valerie Ervin can now run for governor or lieutenant governor and select a new running mate.

She has to make a decision quickly. Speculation has naturally ensued about what she will decide. While Donna Edwards, Ervin’s longtime friend, has encouraged her, I’ve heard other voices that are more critical of an Ervin bid.

I say it’s up to Valerie Ervin and we should respect her decision whatever it is. Kamanetz and Ervin made a good team and seemed to work well together from what I could see. Beyond that the law clearly gives Ervin the right to run, I see nothing wrong with her choosing to do so.

I imagine she would consult with the Kamenetz-Ervin team, especially with the Kamenetz family. Ervin has already indicated she plans to speak with Jill Kamenetz but I think everyone also understands that this suddenly widowed mother of two kids is coping with an enormous and shocking personal loss.

I don’t know what the law will say about access to the funds that Kamenetz raised for his campaign – they are not in a joint account. I also don’t know how it will impact the race if Ervin runs. The Washington Post quoted speculation that it might hurt Ben Jealous and Rich Madaleno, my preferred candidate. But honestly, who knows at this point in a very fluid election.

Regardless, I think it’s Ervin’s decision. We should respect it and move on with the campaign. Of course, she would rightly face the same scrutiny as any other candidate. And that’s how it should be in any healthy democratic competition. But, her decision to run shouldn’t be the issue.

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The Power of Traditional Gender Roles in Maryland Elections

The share of women among officeholders varies dramatically based on the office type. While my previous posts focused on Congress, I’m going to focus today on countywide offices because they vary nicely in terms of job responsibilities.

Below is a table showing the party (D = Democratic, R = Republican) and gender (M = Man, W = Woman) for four offices elected in 2014 in all 24 Maryland jurisdictions. County executive is also included for counties with that office.

Source: Maryland Manual.

Closer examination of the data reveals that women hold some of these offices far more often than others. Women are more far more likely to occupy positions as Circuit Court Clerk and Register of Wills than County Executive, Sheriff and State’s Attorney.

Traditional gender roles cast women as fairer and more process-oriented than men who are seen as having stronger leadership skills along with greater physical strength and a propensity for violence that lends itself to fighting off threats. The types of offices more often held by women reflect these roles. Women are much more likely to hold clerkship or process-oriented offices than executive leadership or crime-focused positions.

Circuit Court Clerks and Registers of Wills oversee the careful organization, administration, and collection of detailed important records as well as related taxes and fees. Fair process and administrative ability are central to each position. In Maryland, 67% of Registers of Wills and 42% of Circuit Court Clerks are women.

In contrast, while these same abilities are no doubt useful for County Executives, Sheriffs, and State’s Attorneys, people see them more as positions requiring leadership and crime fighting skills. Not a single Maryland Sheriff is a woman. Though women now form nearly one-half of attorneys and a majority of law students, only 17% of prosecutors, or State’s Attorneys, are women. Among Maryland’s nine county executives, 22% are women.

(Note: my reporting on the continued power of gender roles is neither meant as an endorsement of them nor a suggestion that many men and women do bot perform all of these offices well.)

Women form a higher share of Democratic than Republican officeholders. These differences may result from a variety of factors about which I can only speculate. Republicans are more likely to hold traditional values regarding gender norms while women form a higher share of Democratic primary voters. Democrats may also simply perform more strongly in areas more amenable to female officeholders but this may relate to the same factors.

These differences are similar to what I found in an article coauthored with Sarah Brewer, a former AU graduate student and now Ph.D., published in Social Science Quarterly that studied the election of women to county offices in the South in the 1990s.

Source: David Lublin and Sarah E. Brewer, “The Continuing Dominance of Traditional Gender Roles in Southern Elections,” Social Science Quarterly 84: 2(June 2003), pp. 386-7.

Untangling the causes of these differences is difficult. This sort of work cannot really speak to the extent that these differences result from electoral barriers or career choices stemming both from the environment or other gender differences.

Candidate Supply

Candidate supply is an easily overlooked factor that needs to be considered. Just as there may be more female Democratic officeholders because more women are Democrats, demographics relating to the gender composition of high-quality candidate pool also influence the probability that a woman holds an office. Sarah Brewer and I found that women are more likely to win in areas with large numbers of African Americans or senior citizens.

Why? At the time of our study, men tended to be better educated than women among whites, while the gender gap in education was reversed for African Americans. As a result, women formed a higher share of the high-quality candidate pool in counties with high African-American populations.

According to the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS), similar racial and gender differences in educational attainment exist in our state. Among whites, 42.6% of men and 41.9% of women hold a bachelor’s degree or higher. In the African-American community, 29.9% of women but only 25.2% of men have a B.A. degree or higher.

Though older voters are usually seen as more traditional than younger voters, women may perform better in counties with high concentrations of seniors for another depressing reason (at least from my end): women live longer than men. The 2016 ACS reports that 57.0% of Marylanders 65 and older are women compared to just 50.7% of under 65s.

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Vignarajah’s Farcical Claims

Can we please stop pretending that Krish Viganarajah comes close to meeting the legal requirements to run for governor?

Candidates for governor of Maryland have to be registered in the State for five years. Yesterday, the Washington Post published three legal documents in which Krish Vignarajah claimed D.C. residency as recently as 2014 and 2016.

In response to a query from the D.C. Board of Elections, Vignarajah signed her name to confirm that she is a D.C. resident and should be able to vote there rather than Maryland:

The real kicker is in the first paragraph, which makes clear that they are asking her to confirm that she resides and should be registered in D.C. even though she is listed on the registry in Maryland. This form makes explicit that she intentionally abandoned her Maryland residency and registration.

Vignarajah got married in 2016 in Dorchester County. Even though she now says that she was a Maryland resident and legally registered voter, she listed D.C. as her residence on her Maryland license application:

In other words, even though she got married in Maryland and had a marriage license in our state, she claimed residency elsewhere.

Of course, Vignarajah’s original voter registration application from 2010 also attests to her D.C. residency:

Remember that Vignarajah has only voted in Maryland once in her entire life.

Her response to this evidence is ridiculous:

Maryland is and always has been home. Temporarily residing outside of Maryland, whether it’s for school or work, does not change my permanent residence, as a matter of law or common sense.

I know Vignarajah is a trained attorney but it’s still impressive that she can say this with a straight face. Residing for years in another state or the District changes your permanent residence except under specific legal circumstances (e.g. being a student or in the military). Indeed, common sense wisdom is the exact opposite of her claim.

All the legal experience it takes to file taxes makes this even clearer. Incidentally, Vignarajah petulantly promised to release her taxes if other candidates do so. Rich Madaleno and Jim Shea have released theirs but we’re still waiting for hers, probably because they are yet further evidence of her D.C. residence.

It would be a disaster if Vignarajah won the nomination, as Republicans would challenge her eligibility and likely win:

A Hogan spokesman declined to comment. But other Republicans, including Del. Joe Cluster (Baltimore County), the former state GOP executive director, said someone in the party would surely attempt to challenge Vignarajah if she were the nominee.

“She shouldn’t be able to be on the ballot,” Cluster said. “If I was executive director of the Maryland Republican Party and she was the nominee for the Democrats, I would challenge her running for governor.”

Were such a challenge permitted, the government documents and Vignarajah’s voting history would be “a killer,” said Timothy Maloney, a lawyer and former Democratic state lawmaker who is not supporting anyone in the primary. “It would be almost impossible to overcome.”

Even if she somehow beat the challenge because it was too late to make it, Hogan’s team will make endless hay out of her five minute legal residence.

Krish Vignarajah should resign from the race.

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Why Women Hold Fewer Elective Offices

Yesterday, I reviewed political science research revealing that women who run for Congress do just as well as men and, contrary to public perception, do not face hostile press coverage that harps on their gender and appearance.

So why are there substantially fewer women than men in public office?

Today and in the next post, I focus on two key factors: First, women are less likely to run for public office than men. Second, the type of office greatly shapes who runs and wins.

My discussion today relies heavily on research by Jennifer Lawless and Richard Fox, particularly their articles in the American Journal of Political Science and American Political Science Review. The APSR is widely viewed as the top journal in political science and the AJPS is one of the top three venues to publish work in American politics.

Fewer Women Run

Lawless and Fox’s Citizen Political Ambition Study surveyed 3,765 people (1,969 men and 1,796 women) they considered highly eligible to run for office, largely people in the professions of law, business and education.

Among this group of potential candidates, 59% of men but just 43% of women said that they considered running for office. The probability that those who considered running actually sought office also revealed gender differences with 20% of men but only 15% of women taking the plunge to enter the political arena.

Interestingly, among those who did run, 63% of the women held public office as opposed to 59% of men. Unlike the gender differences mentioned in the previous paragraph, this one is not statistically significant. If we want more women in public office, we need to focus on the barriers that deter women from running.

Barriers to Women Running for Office

Fox and Lawless find that women are less likely than men to discuss the possibility of running for office with family and friends (22% of women v. 33% of men), community leaders (9% v. 15%), and party leaders (6% v. 12%) than their male counterparts. Improved outreach seems a straightforward way to overcome this barrier.

Next, Fox and Lawless showed that men are more likely than women to consider running for office even when they have similar perceptions of their qualifications:

Source: Richard L. Fox and Jennifer L. Lawless, “Entering the Arena? Gender and the Decision to Run for Office,” American Journal of Political Science 48: 2(April 2004), p. 273.

As the table shows, women who see themselves as “not at all” or “somewhat” qualified are far less likely than men who see themselves the same way to consider running for office. The yawning gap shrinks dramatically, but does not disappear, at higher qualification levels.

It’s really a double whammy.  Women are not only less likely to perceive themselves as qualified but also are less likely to run even when they have the same perception of their qualifications to run for office as men.

Interestingly, Fox and Lawless argue that two suspected culprits, family responsibilities and having a more traditional political cultural outlook (i.e. being more moralistic) do not shape the likelihood of running for office after controlling for other factors such as income, age, encouragement, and self-perceived qualifications.

Going deeper into the subject matter, Fox and Lawless find that gender differences in political ambition surface in both high school and college students. Their survey revealed that young women are less likely than young men to think about running for office:

Source: Richard L. Fox and Jennifer L. Lawless, “Uncovering the Origins of the Gender Gap in Political Ambition,” American Political Science Review 108: 3(August 2014), p. 502.

They find that gender differences that help drive these differences in political ambition are especially pronounced among college students:

Source: Richard L. Fox and Jennifer L. Lawless, “Uncovering the Origins of the Gender Gap in Political Ambition,” American Political Science Review 108: 3(August 2014), p. 510.

Family members are more likely to suggest to college men that they run for office. College women are less likely to discuss politics or visit political websites. Perhaps most jarringly, college women are less likely than college men to think they will be qualified to run for office in the future.

In the final part of this three-part series, I examine how the type of office also shapes whether women run or win.

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Voters Oust Longest Serving Garrett Park Mayor

In a close election, the voters of Garrett Park turned out incumbent Mayor Peter Benjamin and elected former Town Councilmember Kacky Chantry to the position. The two incumbent candidates for the Town Council were unopposed.

Mayor
Kacky Chantry, 243
Peter Benjamin (i), 232

Council
Jane McClintock (i), 341
Hans Wagner (i), 338

Turnout
Registered Voters, 903
Ballots Cast, 478
Rejected Ballots, 0

Benjamin has served as Mayor of Garrett Park repeatedly, first being elected to the position in 1996 and 1998. Nancy Floreen, now an at-large County Councilmember, then served a single term. After winning election to the Council in 2002, Benjamin was then appointed to fill a mayoral vacancy (caused, I imagine, by Mayor Floreen’s election to the County Council).

Benjamin served another term on the Council from 2005 through 2007. He began his most recent stretch as mayor in 2012 and was reelected to two more terms in 2014 and 2016 before being defeated by 11 votes in this election.  Adding his six terms together, Benjamin has served twice as long as any other mayor of the Town.

Incoming Mayor Kacky Chantry previously served two terms on the Town Council starting in 2013. You can learn more about the views of the incoming mayor and all of the candidates from the most recent edition of the Garrett Park Bugle.

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Valerie Ervin Issues Statement

Valerie Ervin Issues Statement Following the Passing of Kevin Kamenetz
PIKESVILLE, MD (May 10, 2018) — Valerie Ervin today issued the following statement:

“Like so many, I am shocked and heartbroken by this sudden and unexpected loss. I want to thank those across Maryland for their outpouring of support, sympathy, and gratitude during this difficult time.

“Kevin was first and foremost a loving husband to his wife Jill and a proud father to Karson and Dylan. And he was a dedicated, bold leader who served the people of Baltimore County for over 20 years. I have been honored to call him a friend and partner.

“Today all of Maryland mourns with his family, friends, and loved ones.”

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