Berliner Campaigns for the Future (VIDEO)

With his wife, Karen, by his side, County Council President Roger Berliner officially filed his paperwork on Monday morning to run for the office of County Executive in 2018.

“I am pretty excited,” Berliner said. “What happens next is that we go forth and we campaign for this office to lead our county into the future and that is what I hope to be able to do — to lead our county, create a more dynamic county and a more innovative county, a county that really fulfills our potential.”

A Democrat, Berliner faces competition in the 2018 Gubernatorial Primary Election from two of his Council colleagues, Marc Elrich and George Leventhal. He describes running against them as “awkward.”

Many expect the election of 2018 to be historic because of the number of new candidates,  the number of incumbents leaving the County Council, the fact that there will be a new county executive, and the new public campaign finance fund.

Berliner said there is another reason for voters to engage with the candidates now.

“Local government matters more than ever,” said Berliner. “What we see happening at the federal level makes you want to pull your hair out…we here in Montgomery County have an opportunity to lead in a different way. ”

Unlike Elrich and Leventhal, Berliner, is not planning to use the campaign finance fund.

“I don’t need public taxpayer dollars for my campaign,” Berliner said, explaining that he doesn’t think it would allow him to raise the money he needs to get his name known countywide.

When asked what he admires about County Executive Ike Leggett’s leadership, Berliner pointed to Leggett’s steadiness.

“He really has been a steady man at the helm of our ship of state,” Berliner said.

Still, he says, the county is ready for change.

“What I think we need now is a really more dynamic county, a more innovative county, a county that really has positive energy that makes things happen,” Berliner said. “I think we have survived the worst of economic times but now we really need to step it up a notch, and that is what I hope to do.”

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Sonya Burke

About Sonya Burke

Sonya Burke is the Multimedia Manager at Montgomery Community Media (MCM). You can email story ideas at sburke@mymcmedia.org or reach her on Twitter @SonyaNBurke.

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