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POLITICS: Campaigns

Ike Leggett to run for Montgomery County executive in 2014

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Local,Maryland,Kate Jacobson,Montgomery County,Campaigns

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett is officially running for re-election next year.

Leggett wrote in a letter addressed to residents that he will seek a third term as county executive. The letter outlines his platform for the 2014 election. Leggett said he intends to focus on schools, economic development and small business during his campaign.

Leggett was elected as county executive in 2006, and served on the County Council from 1986 to 2002.

"During the past 18 months, many of you have asked me to seek another term as county executive," Leggett wrote. "I have come to the conclusion that, in fact, I do want to continue to provide my voice and leadership as we move forward together."

Leggett alluded to a potential bid for the county's top seat in late 2012, saying he wasn't ruling out the idea. Many have speculated Leggett would run for a third term, but he deflected the rumors until now.

Councilman Phil Andrews, D-Gaithersburg/Rockville, is the only candidate who has filed to run, and former County Executive Doug Duncan has announced he will run for the spot.

Duncan said on Wednesday he was not surprised Leggett decided to jump in the race. He said although Leggett will prove to be a fierce competitor, Duncan is remaining focused on his campaign and gaining support within the community.

"I think it's great he's running," Duncan said. "It's going to be a great debate for people in the county that's long overdue."

Duncan said he plans to focus on rebuilding the county's economy and creating more jobs.

Councilman George Leventhal, D-at large, announced in late 2012 that he was forming a committee to start raising funds for a campaign, but said on Wednesday after hearing Leggett's announcement, he is reconsidering.

He wouldn't say whether he's officially out of the race, but said he is now looking at a run for County Council again, which also will be on the November 2014 ballot.

kjacobson@washingtonexaminer.com

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