Montgomery Co. Councilmember Launches Bid for 2nd Term With All-Star Cast

    Ordinarily, the announcement that a county councilmember was going to seek a second term wouldn’t necessarily merit much attention.

    But Montgomery County Councilmember William O. Jawando (D) has always been a young man in a hurry, so the fact that he is gearing up to stay put is, in its way, noteworthy. And he announced his plans in attention-grabbing fashion.

    Montgomery County Councilmember William L. Jawando (D)

    Jawando, 38, ran for the House of Delegates in 2014, finishing 400 votes out of the money in the Democratic primary. He tried for Congress in 2016, then considered applying for an appointment to the state Senate. Finally, in 2018, he prevailed, winning an at-large council seat in a field of more than 30 Democrats.

    There’s already been speculation about Jawando’s next political move, but for now it involves seeking a second term. To announce his plans via Zoom on Sunday afternoon, Jawando enlisted an all-star cast of political leaders to speak: U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Rep. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Md.), and author and anti-poverty activist Wes Moore, a potential candidate for governor.

    All hailed Jawando for his efforts to tackle police reform, racial and economic inequities, food insecurity and the need for more mental health services in the county.

    “As a resident of Montgomery County, I’m really grateful to have Will representing me on the county council,” Van Hollen said. Both he and Raskin described Jawando as a public official willing to challenge the status quo and move bureaucracies.

    And Moore told him: “Your leadership has not just been extraordinary, it’s been imperative…Policy matters and leadership matters.”

    Jawando’s wife, Michele L. Jawando, herself a political powerhouse who is a top strategist for Google, said working for his community is her husband’s calling.

    The councilmember said “it remains the honor of my life to serve the people in Montgomery County.”

    Jawando spoke at length about the inequities laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic, and said his goal for a second term is to ensure “an equitable recovery.”

    “We must be bold and not be afraid to do things differently,” he said.

    Jawando said he wants to help bring widespread, affordable childcare, basic income, and adequate relief to struggling minority- and women-owned businesses, to the county. He said that such priorities, while expensive to fulfill, are important to pursue after generations of racism and inequality.

    “This is not a time to hold back and not tell the truth about where we are and how we got here,” Jawando said.

    [email protected]

    Josh Kurtz
    Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.