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Chamber of Commerce Leader to Seek Montgomery Council Seat

Marilyn Balcombe, who ran one of the most consequential unsuccessful campaigns in the 30-plus candidate Democratic primary field for Montgomery County Council at-large in 2018, announced Thursday that she plans to try again in 2022. This time, she’s running for the vacant council seat in the Upcounty’s District 2, which Councilmember Craig Rice (D) must give up due to term limits.

In an email to supporters, Balcombe, president and CEO of the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce, said a formal kickoff will be held via Zoom on May 2.

Marilyn Balcombe

“With at least five new members coming to a newly expanded Council, we need experienced leaders who understand the complexity of the issues impacting our county and can roll up their sleeves and do the hard work from day one,” she wrote. “I am a problem solver, strategic thinker, and well-respected in our community for building coalitions and getting the job done. I promise I will work every day to strengthen our community and identify innovative ideas to address the needs of our County.”

Balcombe finished fifth among the 33 candidates vying for four at-large seats in the 2018 Democratic primary, just out of the money, and was the top-finishing woman in the crowded contest. There will be pressure to elect more women to the council next year — the lone woman councilmember, Nancy Navarro (D), is also termed out. Montgomery County voters created two more council districts beginning with the 2022 election, meaning there will be seven district seats and four at-large seats.

Other potential Democratic candidates in District 2 include William Roberts, a senior staff member at the Center for American Progress who formerly worked for U.S. Rep. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Md.), and Grace Rivera-Oven, who ran at-large in the 2018 primary.

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Chamber of Commerce Leader to Seek Montgomery Council Seat