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Doug Duncan Targets Montgomery County's 'Paralysis By Analysis'

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Doug Duncan ran for the Democratic nomination for Maryland governor in 2006.
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Doug Duncan ran for the Democratic nomination for Maryland governor in 2006.

Doug Duncan was last heard, at least politically, eight years ago. He was running for the 2006 Democratic nomination for governor of Maryland, when he abruptly dropped out of the race to get treatment for depression. After receiving that, Duncan returned to finish out the final months of his third term as Montgomery county executive.

Duncan explains why eight years later he wants his old job back.

"Montgomery County executive is a great job. It's a great county. It's a great community. And I'm concerned about the complacency that has come into county government," Duncan says. "The status quo is not good enough for us anymore."

Complacency is a word Duncan uses often to describe the eight-year tenure of the man who succeeded him, and whom he's looking to unseat: Isiah Leggett.

"Well, there are several things that are different. One is the leadership and ability to make decisions. And the Silver Spring Transit Center is a perfect example of the 'paralysis by analysis' that has taken over the county government again," Duncan says. "We were known for that in years past, and that's what I worked hard against when I was county executive."

The political waters in Montgomery County have remained relatively calm during Leggett's two terms as executive. The incumbent also holds a large fundraising advantage, but Duncan is banking on the idea that voters want change.

"I spent 13 years at AT&T. And 19 total years in the private sector. And there's an old saying that 'if it ain't broke don't fix it.' At AT&T, our saying was 'if it ain't broke, you haven't looked.' You can always improve upon what you do," he says.

In particular, Duncan says he'll jump-start the county's economy by focusing on start-up companies. He says incubators are currently closing in the county that help start new businesses and attract younger people, which he says is needed, as Montgomery County has the lowest percentage of people aged 20-34 of any jurisdiction in the D.C. region.

Some other excerpts from the interview with Doug Duncan:

For the next two weeks, Maryland reporter Matt Bush will profile some of the candidates that are running for various offices statewide and in Montgomery County in the primary election June 24.

Correction: This story originally misstated the results of polling for the Montgomery County executive's race.

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