THE FOUR Democratic incumbents running for the four at-large seats on the Montgomery County legislature are Bruce Adams, Rose Crenca, Isiah Leggett and Michael Subin. They are joined by Michael Cafarelli Sr., Gail Ewing and Gene Lynch. We believe the best four to serve together are Mr. Adams, Mrs. Crenca, Mr. Leggett and Mrs. Ewing. Mrs. Ewing knows county and state government well, has a level-headed approach to taxation and development issues, and could prove to be a valuable bridge between any factions that might develop. Mr. Adams has this same ability to work with various members. Mrs. Crenca has taken a lot of heat in the past for her considered and balanced views on the shape of Silver Spring. Her other contributions to council decisions have been valuable over the years, especially her work on reforestation and the environmental policies. Mr. Leggett continues to offer balance, reason and good political insights. Mr. Subin, too, has worked on environmental issues and has been a strong opponent of efforts to put tax-limitation questions on the ballot. On the other side of the tax revolt has been Mr. Lynch, an intense student of government affairs who revels in details and statistics. The council would do well with either candidate, but Mrs. Ewing is a more appealing alternative.

In District 2, a growing Republican population makes both primaries noteworthy. Democrat Vickie York has never held elective office, but she deserves nomination at least for the November round. Her opponent, Judith Toth, served for 16 years in the House with few memorable legislative contributions. In a Republican contest, Nancy Dacek is an informed, independent thinker who seems a stronger leader than her opponent, Bruce Goldensohn.

In District 3, council member Bill Hanna is a hard-working legislator with a broad perspective and a great store of knowledge, including expertise on affordable-housing proposals, acceptable growth and job development. His opponent in the Democratic primary is Anne Robbins, who has waged an energetic door-to-door campaign calling for more citizen participation. But Mr. Hanna is too valuable a council member to lose this contest.

In District 4, Democratic council member Michael Gudis, whose list of legislative accomplishments is short, is challenged by Marilyn Praisner, a school member since 1982. Her attention to homework and her sense of political balance make Mrs. Praisner the best choice. In District 5, there are five Democrats running, any one of whom could serve intelligently. But their approaches to growth questions vary. The experience of Dianne Smith in county affairs and her ability to mediate policy differences make her a good choice.