Former Montgomery County Executive Duncan to run again

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Photo - Former Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan (Examiner file photo)
Former Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan (Examiner file photo)
Local,Maryland,Kate Jacobson

Former Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan announced he will be running for county executive in 2014, potentially setting up a contest between him and his successor, Ike Leggett.

Duncan, 59, held the position for three terms, from 1994 to 2006. He ran for governor in 2006 but dropped out of the campaign after announcing he was diagnosed with clinical depression.

Duncan met with political advisers and supporters in Gaithersburg on Tuesday to discuss his run for county executive and told attendees he would be vying for the position once more. The meeting was first reported by blog Center Maryland.

Joining Duncan in what could become a crowded race are council members George Leventhal, D-at large, and Phil Andrews, D-Gaithersburg/Rockville, who have both said they will run no matter who else does.

Leggett, the 68-year-old current county executive, told The Washington Examiner he wasn't ruling out running for a third term and would make a final decision after Jan. 1.

Other potential contenders include council members Marc Elrich, D-at large, Nancy Floreen, D-at large, and Valerie Ervin, D-Silver Spring, though none has said he/she definitely will run. Former County Councilman Steve Silverman, now director of the county's Department of Economic Development and a candidate against Leggett in 2005, and state Del. Ben Kramer, D-Silver Spring, also are rumored to be considering a run but have not publicly confirmed they will throw their hats into the ring.

If elected, it would be Duncan's fourth term. Prior to county executive, Duncan served on the Rockville City Council from 1982 to 1987 and was the city's mayor from 1987 to 1993. After almost 25 years in politics, Duncan worked for a year at the University of Maryland, College Park.

During his time as county executive -- during both the tech and housing bubbles -- Duncan helped redevelop downtown Rockville and Silver Spring and pushed to construct the Intercounty Connector. He was in office during the October 2002 sniper shootings that terrorized the Washington area.

Leggett, who has served as county executive since Duncan's departure, has faced economic recession, closing budget gaps of more than $2.6 billion. If he wins, it would be his third term, and he would be starting it at age 70. He would not be the oldest county executive, though: That title goes to Neal Potter, who was 75 when he started his one four-year term from 1990 to 1994.

kjacobson@washingtonexaminer.com

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