In October, the Gaithersburg City Council will meet to appoint a new Mayor, as longtime chief executive Sid Katz awaits his uncontested elevation to the County Council. After reaching out to my vast network of spies the following council members appear to be interested in pursuing the top job.
Jud Ashman – The early favorite would appear to be Councilman and Small Business Owner Jud Ashman (Republican turned Independent turned Democrat). He likely starts out with Cathy Dryzugla’s vote, meaning he needs only one other council member to reach a majority. However, this is made a bit more complex by the fact that everyone else on the Council appears to display at least some interest in running for Mayor.
Henry Maraffa – The last Republican on the Council is Real Estate Developer Henry Maraffa. He’s probably a bit to conservative to be elected Mayor today.
Mike Sesma – The only minority elected official in a rapidly diversifying municipality certainly cuts an appealing profile. He would need to convince Henry (who I suspect would be more inclined to back ex-Republican Jud if he opts out of the race) and Ryan (who I believe would lean towards Mike naturally) over Ashman.
Ryan Spiegal- Coming off of a hard fought county council primary in District 3, Ryan Spiegal might be more interested in some well-deserved downtime. If not, the Democratic stalwart (despite an impeccable resume) faces a challenging path to the magic number of three votes.
Whomever the appointed Mayor is, I would be truly surprised if they didn’t face a spirited challenge for the seat in November 2015, either from a councilmember who lost on the appointment or from someone else in the community. The strongest contender, in my observant opinion, would be Montgomery County Young Gun Dan Campos. Campos is a dynamic Latino Businessman and ex-Capitol Hill Staffer who would give any councilman appointed Mayor a serious challenge.