The Washington Post

Montgomery County candidates jump into race for school board

As the June primary nears in Maryland, Montgomery County’s school board election has come into sharper focus, with a collection of new candidates jumping into the race just ahead of this week’s filing deadline.

The contest is most crowded for the at-large seat left open by board member Shirley Brandman, who has served two terms and is not seeking reelection.

In the running, with recent filings, are Edward Amatetti of Gaithersburg; Merry Eisner-Heidorn of Potomac; and Jill Ortman-Fouse of Silver Spring. At-large candidate Shebra Evans of Silver Spring filed last month.

The top two vote-getters among the four will proceed from the primary to the November general election. The race is considered nonpartisan, so all primary voters may cast ballots, regardless of political party.

In all, voters will cast ballots in four races for Montgomery County’s Board of Education — the eight-member policymaking body responsible for Montgomery’s 202 public schools and 151,000 students.

But three of the races include only two candidates each -- an incumbent and a challenger -- and so voters will not see those names on the primary ballot. Such contests are listed on the November ballot, election officials said.

Incumbents and their challengers include:

*Board member Judith Docca of Montgomery Village, running against Kristin C. Trible, who is associated with schools in the Damascus area, for the board’s District 1 seat.

*Board Vice President Patricia O’Neill of Bethesda, who is up against Laurie Halverson of Potomac for the board’s District 3 seat.

*Board member Michael A. Durso of Silver Spring, who will face off with Larry E. Edmonds of Silver Spring.

Board member Christopher S. Barclay, whose seat is not open this year, is making a bid in the Democratic primary for the Montgomery County Council seat left open when Council Member Valerie Ervin (D) resigned last month. Barclay joins a crowded field. If he succeeds, the school board will appoint a replacement for him, school officials said.

Donna St. George writes about education, with an emphasis on Montgomery County schools.



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