By Lawrence N. Rosenblum, CPA.
As Ike Leggett’s Treasurer and long-time friend, I had great concerns two years ago about whether the next Montgomery County Executive would preserve his legacy and build on his great accomplishments. Much to my dismay, I had strong doubts that the people rumored to be running would do that.
Last summer, I met David Blair and my half-hour introductory meeting lasted almost two hours. I instantly realized that he was the Obi-Wan who would ultimately be our only hope. Since then, I’ve become convinced that not only will he protect and improve upon Ike’s successes, but he will be an outstanding County Executive in his own right.
Here’s why: he really cares about the future of Montgomery County; he has demonstrated superior executive ability by growing a small business from a one room office into a $6,000,000,000 Fortune 500 Company; he’s smart and knows how to create jobs; and he is one of the best listeners I have ever met (which is rare for a politician).
The fact that he has invested his hard-earned money into this campaign shows us that he puts his money where his mouth is. Because he knew he was not well known, and that it would take a tremendous amount to become competitive, he was reluctant to ask others to contribute to what may have been a futile effort. He took great risk and I applaud that.
It’s time for fresh ideas and new approaches. The same old, same old won’t work anymore as we face unprecedented challenges locally. We must find ways to do more with less. We must embrace and leverage new technology and initiate innovative solutions. I’m convinced that David can and will do just that.
Since he sold his company, David has traveled the county and met with thousands of Montgomery County residents researching best practices and further understanding the issues we face. Not having vast political experience is a plus in my book because he has the knowledge, fresh ideas and discipline to lead.
It’s a shame that David’s competition has resorted to such vile, negative campaigning. Spreading ridiculous lies doesn’t hoodwink our smart voters. The backlash from these attacks is only fueling David’s supporters to work even harder to help get him elected. It takes great courage and restraint not to lower oneself and fight back. I’m so proud of David for not playing in the mud with them. I should remind those who attack David for being a Republican while he was in his 20’s raising a family and building a business (and not enmeshed in politics) that beloved progressive Bernie Sanders has only been a Democrat for one of the last 25 years and he isn’t one today.
Lastly, students of history will remember that there was only one time since the adoption of our charter form of government (1970) that a sitting County Council Member was elected to the position of County Executive. That exception turned out to be a disaster for the county. They call this position County Executive for a reason. And here’s why: legislators are usually not good executives. Executives make good County Executives.
I’m so proud of the non-traditional, positive, innovative and uplifting campaign David Blair has run. I support him 100% and you should too.
Larry Rosenblum has been Ike Leggett’s Treasurer since 2005.