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Six Women Win Democratic Primaries In Montgomery County Council Races

Updated: Aug 29, 2022

Six new faces are expected to join the Montgomery County Council, all of whom belong to women.

Democrats Laurie-Anne Sayles, Marilyn Balcombe, Kate Stewart, Kristin Mink, Natali Fani-González, and Dawn Luedtke won their party’s nomination in the primary, according to unofficial results posted Sunday after nearly three weeks of ballot-counting.

The newcomers are slated to join the recently expanded legislature next year alongside incumbents Gabe Albornoz, Evan Glass, Will Jawando, Andrew Friedson, and Sidney Katz, who also won their bids.

The six newcomers could help reshape the county council in several ways. They would add up to the largest-ever number of women on the county council and its first female majority since the early 1980s. (The current council has only one woman lawmaker: departing District 4 Council member Nancy Navarro.) Together, all 11 nominees are the most racially diverse lineup the council has ever seen, reflecting the county’s increasingly diverse population.

Today, 57% of county residents identify as Hispanic or non-white, according to Census data.

The new council could also solidify representation of both Black residents and constituents in the upcounty, aka northern Montgomery County. Every at-large member of the current council hails from the downcounty area — a common gripe among voters along the northern I-270 corridor and in the agricultural reserve. But Laurie-Anne Sayles, a former Gaithersburg city council member, would change that dynamic. And in District 5, Kristin Mink could come to represent the county’s only district with a Black plurality, thanks to recently redrawn boundaries that shifted its demographics.

Written by Ally Schweitzer of @DCIST

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