Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md) has endorsed County Executive Isiah Leggett’s bid for a third term, praising his “firm and balanced hand” in leading the county throught the Great Recession.

“As we move into the future, Montgomery County continues to need a visionary and principled leader who can deliver results,” Van Hollen said in a statement posted on Leggett’s campaign Web site last week. “Our County Executive, Ike Leggett, has demonstrated that, time and again, he is that leader.”

Van Hollen praised Leggett’s efforts in transportation funding, affordable housing and economic development, as shown by county investments in the Great Seneca Science Corridor, and White Flint, Shady Grove and the White Oak Science Gateway.

Van Hollen’s testimonial gives Leggett parity in the contest for congressional endorsements. Rep. John Delaney endorsed Leggett’s principal opponent, former county executive Doug Duncan, last spring.