By Adam Pagnucco.
The Montgomery County Education Association (MCEA) has made a new round of endorsements in state legislative races, conferring the influential Apple Ballot on the following House candidates.
District 15: Kevin Mack
District 17: Kumar Barve, Julie Palakovich Carr, Julian Haffner
District 18: Jared Solomon
District 19: Marlin Jenkins, Vaughn Stewart
District 20: Darian Unger
District 39: Gabriel Acevero
Combining these endorsements with those previously announced, the teachers are now supporting non-incumbents Mack, Palakovich Carr, Haffner, Solomon, Jenkins, Stewart, Unger, Acevero and District 16 House candidate Samir Paul (who is an MCPS teacher) along with all the state-level incumbents running for reelection except for Delegates Jim Gilchrist (D-17) and Marice Morales (D-19). At the county level, the union has endorsed Ana Sol Gutierrez in Council District 1, Ben Shnider in Council District 3 and Brandy Brooks, Will Jawando and Chris Wilhelm (another MCPS teacher) for Council At-Large while postponing action on most county incumbents.
We find it interesting that Gilchrist (who the teachers endorsed in 2010 and 2014) and Morales (who was not endorsed in her first race last time) were the only two incumbents running for reelection who were not supported. Also, the teachers have left one vacant slot in the strongly contested District 18 House race that may or may not be filled and chose not to support Board of Education Member Rebecca Smondrowski, who is running for Delegate in District 17. Depending on what is said about those issues, we may have further comment soon.