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In Montgomery County's District 1, Affordable Housing Of Primary Concern

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District 1 is Montgomery County's largest and richest council district. It stretches from the D.C. border, runs along the county's entire shoreline with the Potomac River, and out to the border with Frederick County. It includes both urban communities like Bethesda and Chevy Chase and rural ones like Poolesville and Dickerson.

Roger Berliner is seeking a third term on the council. Affordable housing is a major issue not just in his district but throughout the county. Berliner calls the problem a "tough nut to crack," but believes he's found at least one solution through a bill he sponsored during his last term that passed.

"Before we would build a fire station and that would be it. And now in the middle of White Flint we're going to build a fire station that might have 17 stories of affordable housing on top of it. Co-locating affordable housing on county buildings," Berliner says. "We're doing the same thing in Silver Spring as part of the same initiative."

His lone opponent in the primary is a familiar face: former at-large councilwoman Duchy Trachtenburg, who lost that seat four years ago. During a debate on county public television, she also noted the difficulty surrounding the issue of more affordable housing, but said she can do a better job at tackling it than Berliner.

"In order to accomplish this, it's just not the commitment of government. It's also the ability to work with the development community. And that requires working relationships, not contentious ones," she says.

The county council has four at-large seats. All four incumbents are seeking re-election and have been endorsed by The Washington Post. Both Nancy Floreen and George Leventhal are each seeking their fourth term on the council, while Marc Elrich is looking for his third and Hans Riemer his second.

The two challengers to the incumbents are Beth Daly, who sits on both the county's Upcounty Citizens Advisory Board and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Transportation Planning Board. The other is Vivian Malloy, a member of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee and a retired major in the Army Nurse Corps.

For more information on the candidates in Montgomery County and to print out your ballot, visit WAMU.org/Vote.

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