Montgomery County Councilmember Laurie-Anne Sayles (D-At-large) will run for the Maryland Sixth Congressional District.
Sayles told Maryland Matters in an interview Thursday that she would formally announce her candidacy in a statement later that day. Previously she had said she was exploring a bid.
“I’ve received a lot of calls and encouragement to run for the open MD6 seat,” Sayles told MoCo360 last week by email. “Getting things done for our communities has always been my top priority, and I want to ensure I’m in the best position to do the most good.”
Earlier this week, Sayles announced two birthday parties, one in Frederick and one in Washington, D.C., that will serve as fundraisers for the campaign.
Sayles joined the County Council in December and is the first Black woman to hold an at-large seat. In her time on the council, Sayles has sponsored and worked on police reform measures and supported rent stabilization. She also launched a Youth Advisory Council that works with Sayles and the County Council on various initiatives, including racial equity and social justice.
Prior to her time on the County Council, Sayles served as a member of the Gaithersburg City Council for five years and was vice president for two of those. She is also a former senior project manager for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Sayles unsuccessfully ran in the 2014 Democratic primary for Maryland General Assembly District 17 delegate, finishing fifth.
Sayles will face a broadening field of candidates in the Democratic primary.
State delegates Lesley Lopez (D-Dist. 39) and Joe Vogel (D-Dist. 17) have launched campaigns for the seat. Lopez currently represents parts of Germantown and Montgomery Village in the Maryland General Assembly. Lopez has raised $51,051 as of June 30, according to FEC data, and has received a slate of endorsements from Montgomery County politicians, including Sayles’ fellow councilmember Dawn Luedtke (D-Dist. 7). Vogel, who represents parts of Rockville and Gaithersburg, has raised $115,950 in campaign donations as of June 30, according to FEC data, and has received a national endorsement from Equality PAC.
Democrat Joel Rubin, a former Chevy Chase councilmember and former deputy assistant secretary of state for the Obama administration, announced his campaign in late July.
Hagerstown Mayor Tekesha Martinez (D) also launched her campaign, and Frederick County Democrats Stephen McDow, an economist, and Mia Mason, a veteran and former congressional candidate, nonpartisan thinktank founder Destiny Drake West, and environmentalist George Gluck have also entered the race.
On the Republican side, Air Force veteran Mariela Roca leads in funds thus far, raising more than $67,711 in campaign funds as of June 30, government data shows. Germantown resident, Navy officer and combat aviator Tom Royals also announced his candidacy last month.
Former Del. Brenda Thiam (R-Dist. 2B) is also running for the seat. Thiam served in the House of Delegates from 2020 to 2023. A Hagerstown resident and native, she worked as a special education teacher in several school districts, including Montgomery and Washington counties, for more than 20 years.
Also running for the GOP nomination: retired Frederick-based Maryland State Trooper Chris Hyser; Germantown food service worker Todd Puglisi; and Heath Barnes, burgess (akin to mayor) of the town of Woodsboro.
This is a developing story and will be updated.