By Adam Pagnucco.
Josh Starr was Superintendent of MCPS from 2011 through 2015 and still lives in MoCo. He announced the candidates whom he supports on Facebook yesterday. Agree with Starr or not, his personal experience of working with state and county elected officials gives him a unique perspective on those running for office. With his permission, we reprint his post below.
Very long post for my MoCo friends about my choices for the primaries, with notes/comments where I feel it’s appropriate. Please note that my choices and/or comments are based on my personal knowledge and experience with these folks, not any deep analysis of every statement/position/vote they’ve made. I definitely have biases.
Governor – Rich Madaleno; Baker would be my #2. When I was super, I found Rich to be one of the smartest, most thoughtful and most knowledgeable elected officials, esp. around budget. He was also one of the first Dems to push back against Hogan. Experienced, smart, progressive, would be a great governor. I’d also love to see an open member of the LGBTQ community elected governor, although that’s in no way the primary (pun intended) reason I’m supporting him.
Senator – Ben Cardin
Congress – Jamie Raskin, because he is, after all, The Jamie Raskin.
House of Delegates – 3 candidates:
Ariana Kelly – solid, speaks out on issues re: women, no reason for her not to continue in Annapolis.
Marc Korman – smart, thoughtful (in my LM class so I got to know him well), definitely a bright future.
Samir Paul – have had a few conversations with him, very sharp and we need more teachers in office.
County Executive (wherein I get a little snarky based on my experiences with many of these candidates). I also think the next CE might be a transitional leader, as we move from 12 years of Ike during an economic downturn towards a new vision that supports bold economic development with progressive politics.
I’m supporting Roger Berliner as I’ve always found him to be thoughtful, a really good listener/learner, consistent and progressive. I’ve always felt Roger tries to do the right thing in an inclusive and reasonable way and will work hard to bring people together around his vision.
A few comments on other CE candidates:
Blair – don’t know much about him, not a huge fan of business leaders assuming they can “save” public entities. I’m pretty agnostic.
Elrich – have always appreciated his progressive politics, always had a solid working relationship, sometimes I appreciate his willingness to take strong positions, sometimes I think they’re unforced errors; major concern is the big hill he’ll have to climb to convince a wide swath of the county that he can do economic development and enact a very progressive agenda.
Frick – there are some things I like about him, personally and professionally, but my experience with Roger Berliner outweighs any support for Frick.
Krasnow – don’t know her, but I hear good things, sounds like a solid choice.
Leventhal – based on personal/professional experience, I’m in the anyone-but-Leventhal camp. He doesn’t have the temperament or leadership skills to be CE, despite his sometimes-engaging personal style and progressive politics. Please, trust me on this one.
Council At-Large (4)
Gabe Albornoz – smart, engaging, thoughtful, has a very bright future; very supportive of kids and MCPS.
Hoan Dang – what I know, I like.
Will Jawando – he deserves a shot.
Hans Riemer – very education focused, solid on economy and progressive issues, always had a good working relationship, we need someone with experience and we need a degree of stability.
I am also in the anyone-but-Jill Ortman Fouse category, based on my experience with her as a board of education member while I was superintendent. Trust me.
Council – D1
Peter Fosselman – solid, good record in Kensington, deserves a shot at council.
BoE (always at the end of the ballot)
At-Large- Karla Silvestre, glad to see her running, great community leader, smart, thoughtful, will be a great BoE member.
D3 – Pat O’Neill, because she deserves a shot at the MD record for longest serving board member. On a serious note, she knows what the role of a board member is and provides an essential balance to other board members who think their job is to run the school system.