One of Maryland's largest and most influential immigrant-rights groups, CASA in Action, endorsed council member Marc Elrich (D-At Large) Thursday in the Montgomery County executive race.
CASA pointed to Elrich's work in the early 1990s when he helped create the first day-laborer center in Takoma Park. The group also noted Elrich's record of legislation on the council protecting domestic workers and tenants, as well as raising the county's minimum wage to $15 an hour.
"[Elrich] has a history of working with the Latino and immigrant community for the last 25 years," Gustavo Torres, president of CASA in Action, said. "In this particular moment, Marc is the right person to lead the county."
"I have been humbled to have had the chance to work with [CASA] to move people to citizenship and achieve economic security for their families," Elrich said in the release.
But in an interview, Elrich said there is still work to be done. "It's really good to have support from CASA, but my strategy is I want support from every voter I can get support from," he said.
The other candidates vying to succeed outgoing County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) are council member Roger Berliner (D-Potomac-Bethesda), former Rockville mayor Rose Krasnow and Potomac businessman David Blair. The winner of the June 26 Democratic primary will face Republican Robin Ficker.
CASA's statement said next year's election "comes at a time when the contrast between the lives of Montgomery County's haves and have-nots could not be more stark."
"Marc Elrich knows that a more equitable world is possible and is committed to make the necessary changes to achieve it," the release said.