Politics Roundup: Two At-Large County Council Candidates Team Up

Plus: Blair lands endorsement from building owners; and county rules govern the posting of campaign signs

A joint mailer featuring at-large County Council candidates Chris Wilhelm, left, and Brandy Brooks, right
A joint mailer featuring at-large County Council candidates Chris Wilhelm, left, and Brandy Brooks, right

At-large County Council candidates Brooks and Wilhelm team up

Two of the candidates in the crowded field of more than 30 Democrats pursuing four at-large seats on the Montgomery County Council are now working together.

Wheaton community activist Brandy Brooks and Chevy Chase teacher Chris Wilhelm have joined together to distribute joint mailers and this week unveiled a new YouTube video featuring both of them. In the video, they describe themselves as candidates who will address the public schools’ achievement gap, work to diminish the influence of developers’ contributions in local politics and build more affordable housing.

The progressive political newcomers share a number of endorsements. Both have been endorsed by the Montgomery County Education Association, the local teachers’ union; the liberal political group Progressive Maryland; and the large county government employee union UFCW Local 1994 MCGEO.

“We realized it was an opportunity to emphasize to voters that you can vote for more than one person,” Brooks said Thursday about the partnership. She said she and Wilhelm developed a cordial relationship on the campaign trail. The pair decided their values aligned and they could work together. Both are also using the county’s new public campaign financing system.

She added that they’ve been careful to not violate public campaign financing rules that prohibit candidates from running on a slate together. The pair don’t have a joint campaign account, are splitting expenses evenly and confirmed with state Board of Elections officials that their partnership is permitted, Brooks said.

Andrew Metcalf

Blair Picks up endorsement of Apartment and Office Building Association

Businessman David Blair has picked up the endorsement of the Apartment and Office Building Association of Metropolitan Washington (AOBA) in his bid for the Democratic nomination for county executive in the June 26 primary.

While many labor unions and social advocacy groups typically weigh in during local primary contests, AOBA’s Maryland State PAC is one of the few business groups to make formal candidate endorsements in Montgomery County. Another business organization representing real estate interests, the Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors (GCAAR), got behind another contender, state Del. Bill Frick (D-Bethesda), early last month in the six-way Democratic primary for county executive.

Prior to endorsing Blair, AOBA’s Maryland State PAC had previously announced its support for County Council member Hans Riemer of Takoma Park along with Gabriel Albornoz of Kensington and Marilyn Balcombe of Germantown for County Council at-large. Riemer is the only incumbent seeking re-election in the 33-person Democratic field for the at-large seats; Albornoz is the director of the county’s Department of Recreation and Balcombe is CEO of the Gaithersburg/Germantown Chamber of Commerce.

The AOBA has also endorsed incumbent council members Craig Rice of…

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