Democrats — two incumbents and five first-time candidates — look certain to sweep the races for seven County Council district seats in Tuesday’s general election, according to unofficial results from the State Board of Elections.
Andrew Friedson and Sidney Katz, seeking a second and third term respectively, won re-election to their seats. Friedson was unopposed while Katz defeated George Hernandez, a Republican, with about 77% of the vote.
Five other Democrats — Marilyn Balcombe, Kate Stewart, Kristin Mink, Natali Fani-Gonzalez and Dawn Luedtke — bested their Republican challengers to win seats.
Tuesday marked the first time that county voters were given the option to vote for a council member in one of seven council districts. Previously, there had been five districts — but a 2020 ballot question approved by county voters increased the number of council districts from five to seven. That means the council will grow from nine to 11 members in December, given there also are four at-large seats.
Here’s a brief breakdown of the seven district races:
Friedson, unopposed, re-elected to District 1 seat
Andrew Friedson, a Democrat who was first elected to the council in 2018 after beating seven other candidates in the Democratic primary and beating Republican Richard Banach in the general election, was re-elected on Tuesday, according to unofficial results.
Friedson ran unopposed in the 2022 Democratic primary and general election, the only district council candidate without a challenger. His district covers Bethesda, Potomac, much of Chevy Chase, Cabin, Glen Echo and surrounding communities
Balcombe secures victory in District 2
Marilyn Balcombe, former president and CEO of the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce, will likely beat her Republican challenger, Dan Cuda, in the District 2 race. She received about 69.5% of the vote, according to unofficial results.
Balcombe beat two other candidates in the July Democratic primary, garnering just over 49% of the vote. Her district covers Germantown, Darnestown, Poolesville, Dickerson, most of Clarksburg and other northwestern parts of the county.
Katz wins third and final term in District 3
Sidney Katz, a former mayor of Gaithersburg, will probably win election to his third and final term representing District 3.
Katz, who has been an elected official in Gaithersburg in some capacity since the late 1970s, beat two other candidates in the July Democratic primary with over 60% of the vote. On Tuesday, he was beating Republican George Hernandez with about 77.3% of the votes cast, according to unofficial results.
According to the county charter, Katz cannot serve more than three terms because of term limits. His district covers Rockville and Gaithersburg.
Stewart bests Riley in District 4
Kate Stewart, mayor of Takoma Park, will likely be the first council member to represent the new District 4.
Stewart beat four others in the Democratic primary with nearly 43% of the vote in July. She was leading Republican Cheryl Riley on Tuesday with about 84.9% of ballots cast in the race, unofficial results showed around 10:30 p.m.
District 4 covers North Bethesda, Kensington, Silver Spring and Takoma Park.
Mink wins in District 5
Kristin Mink, a former Montgomery County Public Schools teacher, was the likely victor in District 5, unofficial results showed.
Mink beat seven other competitors in the July Democratic primary, with about 42% of the vote. On Tuesday, she was ahead of Kate Woody by about 58 points, 78.9% to 20.9%.
District 5 covers the eastern part of Montgomery County, and includes much of Leisure World, Colesville, Four Corners, White Oak, Fairland and Burtonsville.
Fani-Gonzalez defeats Doan in District 6
Natali Fani-Gonzalez, a former Montgomery County Planning Board member, looked poised to prevail in District 6, according to unofficial results.
Fani-Gonzalez first won the primary in July against seven other Democrats, receiving over 56% of the vote. Her lead over Republican Viet Doan on Tuesday was by a margin of 76.3% to 23.5%.
District 6 includes Wheaton, Forest Glen, Glenmont, Aspen Hill and other surrounding areas.
Luedtke defeats Maldonado in District 7, rounding out Democratic sweep
Dawn Luedtke’s likely win in District 7 rounded out the likely sweep for Democrats in the seven council districts.
Luedtke, an assistant attorney general for Maryland, beat six other candidates in the Democratic primary in July, with just under 36% of the vote. On Tuesday, she was beating Harold Maldonado by about 27 points, according to unofficial results posted around 10:30 p.m.
District 7 covers Olney, Brookeville, Montgomery Village, Laytonsville, Damascus and other northeastern parts of the county.