Layhill resident Cary Lamari called us this morning to say he has been asked to drop out of the race to replace Marilyn Praisner for the District 4 County Council seat and will support her widower Don, who's announcing his candidacy on Monday.
"He's an unbeatable candidate in District 4," says Lamari, former president of the Montgomery County Civic Federation. "The residents of District 4 had the greatest respect for Marilyn Praisner and would consider this . . . a legacy, a tribute to Marilyn. If he espouses the same ideals Marilyn did, then I have to support that."
County Executive Ike Leggett announced yesterday he will endorse Praisner, who's also gotten the support of Councilmembers Marc Elrich and Duchy Trachtenberg, both at-large; Phil Andrews (D-Rockville), and Roger Berliner (D-Potomac), according to Maryland Politics Watch.
A primary will be held April 15, followed by a special election May 13. "There's just not enough time to get the money it's gonna take [to win] in so short a time," says Lamari. "I don't think we have a chance with so many outside influences deciding what's to happen."
Lamari, whose 2006 bid for County Council was endorsed by the Neighbors for a Better Montgomery, sees a two-way race between Democrats Praisner and Nancy Navarro, currently on the Board of Education. With the County facing a $300 million budget crisis and an increasing dearth of affordable housing, the council needs a "fiscal conservative" like Don Praisner, Lamari says. "My opinion is that Nancy Navarro is partly responsible for the current budget crisis," he notes. "I believe there needs to be balance in this council."
Hoping to get ahead of the pack, Lamari plans to build his campaign for 2010. "We've just got too many qualified candidates," he says, referring to the already-crowded field of hopefuls for the Democratic nomination. "With the coming of Don, we just don't stand a chance."