A dozen women are among the 33 Democrats running for four at-large seats on the Montgomery County Council. So when County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) endorsed four men for the June 26 primary, one female candidate took to Facebook in exasperation.
“Nice how our County Exec doesn’t think we need any women on the Council at large,” Danielle Meitiv wrote on her personal Facebook page Wednesday, the day Leggett said he was backing Will Jawando. The outgoing executive also has endorsed candidates Hoan Dang and Gabe Albornoz, along with incumbent Hans Riemer. In largely blue Montgomery, the Democratic primary effectively decides the race.
In an interview Thursday, Meitiv said she wasn’t frustrated that she hadn’t been endorsed — she said she hadn’t sought the nod — but rather that women in general seem to get short shrift in local politics.
“I saw the endorsement and thought, really? You couldn’t find any really wonderful, qualified female candidates to endorse?” she said.
Her post was first reported by the political blog Seventh State.
Leggett dismissed Meitiv’s comments as “absurd,” saying he has a history of supporting female candidates — including state Del. Aruna Miller (D-Montgomery), who is seeking the Democratic nomination to succeed outgoing Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) in Congress.
“We’re just talking about the at-large race — there are nine seats” on the council, Leggett said. “I’m not finished with all the endorsements.”
Plus, he said, of the candidates he did endorse for the at-large race, three — including Jawando — are minorities.
“I wanted to see an opportunity for us to elect a person of color countywide to a political position,” said Leggett, the county’s first African American county executive.
Meitiv — a climate scientist who drew headlines years ago as a “free-range mom” — said she wasn’t accusing Leggett of “overt sexism.” Nor is she blasting the candidates that did get endorsed, whom she called “qualified individuals.”
“I don’t think any of this is overt sexism,” Meitiv said. “I think people just don’t think about it.”