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Doug Duncan (still) running for Montgomery County executive

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Former Montgomery County executive Doug Duncan made a big splash in late November when he announced to supporters at a Gaithersburg breakfast that he would run again for the office he held for three terms. Yet in the weeks that followed, the political chatter was that he’d been scarcely seen, and it led to speculation that he might have reconsidered.

Duncan says he is alive, well and still running in 2014.

“I’m raising money, organizing a campaign and meeting a lot of people,” he said in a phone interview Wednesday evening. “I find it a little odd that people say they haven’t seen me. . .We’re going to run the best campaign I’ve ever run.”

Duncan said with 18 months until the June 2014 Democratic primary, and voters having just witnessed the second Obama inaugural, it was simply way too early to launch another round of high-intensity campaigning.

“Nobody wants to hear about a campaign that’s 18 months off,” he said.

Duncan said he’s spent his time making fundraising calls and building an organization, which he said will include pollster Harrison Hickman and Democratic consultant Anita Dunn, key players in past campaigns. His most recent financial filing shows just under $250,000 on hand. He’s spent about $60,000 in recent months, half of it for a Hickman poll and $6,700 in fees to fundraiser Rachel Rice.

“I’m focused on getting the money together and doing a bunch of public stuff in the spring,” he said.

Duncan, 57, held the county executive position for three terms (1994-2006). He folded his 2006 campaign for governor to seek treatment for depression. His return sets up a possible showdown with two-term incumbent Isiah Leggett (D), who is said to be considering another run.

For the moment, those wondering where he’s been can probably catch him at the Cosi in downtown Rockville. That’s where he’s taking most of his meetings these days, he said, until he opens a campaign office.

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