Council Candidates Say Developer-Funded Super PAC is ‘Deliberately Trying to Deceive Voters’

Update: This post was updated July 15 to include a statement from Charles Nulsen, chair of the Progressives for Progress super PAC and president of Washington Property Company.

Some elected officials and candidates for Montgomery County Council say a developer-funded super PAC is misleading voters and pushing special developer interests while excluding Black candidates. 

“We have half a million dollars from one PAC alone and more money, deliberately trying to deceive voters and act as if they are something that they are not,” said Councilmember Will Jawando, who is running for reelection, during a press conference outside the Silver Spring Civic Building voting center Thursday morning.  

“It’s a developer-funded half a million dollar super PAC that is seeking to enhance its own interests,” he said of the group, called Progressives for Progress.  

Progressives for Progress supports David Blair for county executive. As for county council, it supports incumbent Andrew Friedson (District-1), Marilyn Balcombe (D-2), incumbent Sidney Katz (D-3), Amy Ginsburg (D-4), Brian Anleu (D-5), Natali Fani-Gonzalez (D-6), Dawn Luedtke (D-7), incumbent Gabe Albornoz (at-large), incumbent Evan Glass (at-large), Scott Goldberg (at-large) and incumbent Tom Hucker (at-large).

“And not to mention, the selected candidates from this special interest didn’t include one Black candidate out of 11 council seats,” Jawando said. 

Jawando, former Gaithersburg Councilmember Laurie-Anne Sayles, Takoma Park Mayor Kate Stewart and former Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett were among Thursday’s speakers. Jawando, Sayles and Stewart are running for county council.

In a statement Thursday afternoon, Councilmember Glass, who is endorsed by the super PAC, said, “The deceptive practices being used by this group are anything but progressive.”

Glass said he was “deeply troubled” that the organization did not endorse any Black candidates.

In a statement emailed to MyMCM, Charles Nulsen, chair of Progressives for Progress and president of Washington Property Company, said, “Progressives for Progress are Maryland Businesses who pay millions in taxes and employ thousands of Montgomery County residents.”

He noted diversity on the candidate slate.

“After reviewing the candidates’ backgrounds and positions on the issues, Progressives for Progress was proud to endorse a County Council team which includes 3 Latinos and 4 women. The selection process was color-blind and based on a candidate’s understanding of the issues and positions. The Progressives for Progress Council slate reflects candidates who will bring balance and fiscal oversight to the County,” Nulsen said.

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