By Adam Pagnucco.
Here is something we haven’t seen before: a mid-term year Apple Ballot with one candidate occupying one side of it and a list of others on the other side. This Apple, still in wrapping, is customized in favor of Council At-Large candidate Chris Wilhelm.
Here is another one spotlighting District 16 House candidate Samir Paul.
The Apple we were given at the Wheaton early voting site was not like these. It had county candidates on one side and state candidates on the other, a typical format used in the past.
Wilhelm and Paul are MCPS teachers. We totally get why MCEA would like to elect its own members to office, although that has not always been their top priority. For example, the union endorsed County Council District 5 incumbent Derick Berlage over MCPS teacher Marc Elrich in 1998. In Elrich’s 2002 and 2006 races, he did appear on the Apple but we don’t recall him getting an entire side of it to himself.
The races involving Paul and Wilhelm are very different. In District 16, the two incumbent Delegates – Ariana Kelly and Marc Korman – are endorsed by MCEA and a lock for reelection. Paul is in a tight contest with fellow new candidate Sara Love for the open seat being vacated by Delegate Bill Frick. He needs every edge he can get.
The Council At-Large race, on the other hand, is extremely competitive and unpredictable. MCEA has endorsed incumbent Hans Riemer, Brandy Brooks and Will Jawando in addition to Wilhelm. Riemer seems likely to be reelected but that’s about all that can be safely predicted in this race. What will Riemer, Brooks and Jawando think of the Wilhelm Ballot?