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Votes

‘End Gridlock’ Sweeps at Large Race

Primary Election Results

Tuesday night gave way to Wednesday morning with no definite answers as to who had won races around the county.

Election parties around the region went on in cheerful uncertainty.

“It’s frustrating,” said John Young, of Potomac, a candidate for House of Delegates in District 15. “It’s strange to have a party and not even know.” Young remained confident at midnight, and his optimism proved well founded.

“I had practically every poll covered day and night with my volunteers,” he said.

Voters would impose drastic changes in the character and makeup of the Montgomery County Council, but as midnight approached, the final answers were still locked in the new electronic voting system.

“It’s going to be a long night,” said Council president Steve Silverman just before 11 p.m.

Silverman was also optimistic that his “End Gridlock” slate would emerge winners for County Council.

“People are very concerned about traffic,” Silverman said.

Results, while still unofficial, came in shortly after 1:30 a.m.

Traffic congestion dominated the County Council races.

Eight Democrats competed for four spots on the November ballot for County Council at large, and those who prevailed on primary day will likely prevail on Nov. 5.

The Montgomery County Council has nine members, five elected by District, and four at large.

The eight broke into two slates.

One, calling itself the “End Gridlock” team was endorsed by County executive Doug Duncan and touted plans to build new roads to address traffic congestion, focusing on support for the InterCounty Connector. Duncan’s well-funded slate prevailed in the at-large race, winning a slot on the November ballot for incumbents Silverman and Mike Subin, plus Nancy Floreen and George Leventhal. While the candidates on the slate admitted that their plan, Duncan’s $10 billion “Go Montgomery” proposal, would not make traffic better than it is today, the “End Gridlock” concept resonated with voters.

The Go Montgomery plan includes $400,000 for a study of a possible new bridge over the Potomac River connecting Montgomery County and Northern Virginia.

THE OPPOSING SLATE, organized by incumbent Councilmember Blair Ewing, emphasized controlling growth and greater reliance on transit to address traffic issues. Ewing lost his bid for reelection, and in December Ewing will be without an elected position in Montgomery County for the first time since 1976, when he was first elected to the Board of Education. Marc Elrich, Ann Somerset and Vince Renzi, each endorsed by Ewing, all lost their bids for a spot on the November ballot. Ewing fell 1,100 votes short of making the top four, receiving 45,155 votes, compared to Leventhal’s 46,207.

Duncan targeted Ewing for defeat, funding several expensive mailings specifically attacking Ewing to likely primary voters.

Phil Andrews, County councilmember from District 3, also endorsed by Ewing and targeted by Duncan, survived a challenge from “End Gridlock” candidate Tom Dorsey.

Potomac is represented by District 1, as well as the four at-large members. Incumbent Howie Denis (R) ran unopposed in the Republican primary. He will face Democrat Duchy Trachtenberg who was also unopposed in Tuesday’s primary.

Along with Young, Democrats Kathleen Dumais and Brian Feldman, all first time candidates, won spots on the November ballot for State Delegate in District 15, which includes most of Potomac. They will face three Republicans who ran without contest on Tuesday’s ballot, including incumbent Jean Cryor, and Mary Kane and Bill Askinazi.

District 15 will have at least two new delegates. Del. Mark Shriver (D) gave up his seat to run for the Democratic nomination for Congress. Shriver (33,480 votes) lost in a tight race to Sen. Chris Van Hollen (35,864 votes), who will face incumbent Connie Morella (R) in November. The state posted the results this morning at 3:07 a.m.