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New Names And Old Vying For Montgomery County's District 5

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District 5 covers the easternmost parts of Montgomery County, including Silver Spring, Takoma Park, and Burtonsville. Cherrie Branson currently holds the seat. She was appointed earlier this year to fill out the term of Valerie Ervin, who resigned to take a job heading a non-profit in New York City.

The potential replacements include some familiar names to county political observers. Del. Tom Hucker, for instance, called himself a "trained professional activist" during a debate on county public television.

"Working in the science of bringing people together to make government do what people want, and what it wasn't doing without that intervention," Hucker says. "Think about it: that's a great set of skills for an individual elected official to have."

Hucker has the endorsement of most of the unions representing county workers. One he doesn't is the teacher's union. Originally, they endorsed board of education member Christopher Barclay. But that was rescinded after Barclay admitted to using a board-issued credit card for personal expenses. He's apologized and said he's repaid the Board and has remained in the District 5 race.

Barclay said during the county public television debate that he wants to bring more development to all of District 5.

"If you look in the Takoma Park area and the Silver Spring area, you have a lot of development. A lot of growth. But if you go to Colesville, you go to Burtonsville, you go to other areas in the district, we don't see those same pace of growth," Barclay said.

Evan Glass has the endorsement of The Washington Post. The former CNN producer and current chair of the Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board touted during that debate he'd bring an independent voice to the council because he is currently not an elected official.

"Playing musical chairs in this election is not going to work. You need experienced local leadership," Glass said.

Also running are Terrill North — a former Congressional staffer and vice-president of the ACLU of Maryland — who wants to tackle the widening student achievement gap with more universal pre-kindergarten programs and Jeffrey Thames — a community activist and self-proclaimed "maven networker" who wants to focus on job growth and housing.

To compare the candidates and prepare your ballot for the primary on June 24, visit WAMU.org/Vote.

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