Leggett supporters brave heat for birthday fundraiser

July 20, 2013

There was nothing but warmth for Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett at his birthday fundraiser Saturday at Smokey Glen Farm in Gaithersburg, a stifling 90-plus degrees of it.

“This is not a day for long campaign speeches,” said Leggett, who announced last month that he would seek a third term in 2014.

Several hundred supporters (organizers reported more than 1,000 tickets sold) in the campaign’s signature teal T-shirts sang the Stevie Wonder version of “Happy Birthday.” A long roster of local and state Democrats, including Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, paid tribute. State Comptroller Peter Franchot awarded Leggett a ceremonial gold “Comptrollers Medallion” -- at his own expense, he said — for those who had made a difference in Maryland. Leggett joked that he’d have preferred a big check for the county.

Leggett called his decision to run for another term the conclusion of “a great debate” that he said was decided by supporters who asked him to reconsider. He said they were the people he was looking forward to serving for four more years.

He also poked fun at the recent confusion over his age. “I am celebrating a birthday,” he said. “I can’t figure out which one it is.” He’ll be 69 on Thursday.

A contingent of county officials attended, including County Council members Roger Berliner (D-Potomac-Bethesda), Marc Elrich (D-At Large) and Craig Rice (D-Upcounty); Chief Administrative Officer Timothy Firestine; Environmental Protection Director Robert Hoyt; and Office of Management and Budget Director Jennifer Hughes.

All three candidates for county executive are digging in this summer raising money and building organizations. County Council member Phil Andrews (D-Rockville-Gaithersburg) threw an ice cream party for supporters on June 30. Former county executive Doug Duncan held a June 26 breakfast for volunteers.

Bill Turque, who covers Montgomery County government and politics, has spent more than thirty years as a reporter and editor for The Washington Post, Newsweek, the Dallas Times Herald and The Kansas City Star.
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