Leggett in county executive race
By Sonia Boin
Montgomery Bureau Chief
Frederick News Post - Montgomery County Edition
Jan. 26, 2005
Four-term Montgomery County Councilman Ike Leggett
launched a campaign for County Executive Tuesday with a pledge
to "bring business and citizen organizations together as one
entity working for the better of Montgomery County."
Citing "a fundamental distrust" between these interests, Mr.
Leggett said he wants to "restructure our business and civic
organizations in a collaborative way because there is a lot of
talent and leadership in both."
He entered the Democratic primary race three weeks after
sitting Councilman Steven Silverman sent a mailing announcing he
will run for the office. Mr. Leggett said he "would have
wanted the race to be kept within normal limits. It's highly
unusual and out of character to have an executive race that now
rivals the presidential process."
Mr. Leggett, 59, of Burtonsville, resigned as chairman of the
Maryland Democratic Party in December, a move that reinforced
wide speculation he would run for the executive job.
"I don't think I need to raise as much" money as Mr.
Silverman has, "largely from developer contributions," he said.
"Developer money doesn't deter me one bit."
Mr. Silverman has criticized Mr. Leggett for "choosing" to
recuse himself from taking a position on the controversial
Intercounty Connector that would affect his property.
"I will have clear delineations about the ICC by 2006," Mr.
"In an executive position, I can. I will talk to all the
people involved in the process."
He said as a party leader, he has "worked with leaders
As a council member, he said he "pushed for dedicated funding
for affordable housing and a water quality enhancement fund."
Mr. Silverman, who has raised $827,000 for a campaign, said
the controversial issues of the Intercounty Connector and the
Inner Purple Line most distinguish the two candidates.
"We have similar records on growth and development, but we
part company on transportation, and we have a different approach
to fiscal issues," he said.
Mr. Silverman, 50, is a second term, at large council member.
He said he launched his campaign early this month because "this
is the first time in 10 years voters have a chance to choose an
executive and this gives them more time" to assess the choices.
Mr. Leggett announced his candidacy in a letter "to thousands
He cited such "critical issues" as "traffic relief, schools
in which every child can learn, far more affordable housing,
safer neighborhoods, business expansion and vigilant protection
of our environment." Mr. Leggett has served 16 years as an at
large member of the County Council.