Governor Hogan and Comptroller Franchot Talk Marriott, CCT, Purple Line, Schools, and Liquor Control in North Bethesda (PHOTOS & VIDEO)

UPDATED Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican, and Comptroller Peter Franchot, a Democrat, sat down for a conversation that was moderated by Bethesda magazine’s political editor, Lou Peck, at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center on Friday morning. The breakfast meeting was hosted by The Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce.

Their conversation covered a wide variety of hot topics from Marriott’s decision to build its new corporate headquarters in downtown Bethesda to transportation issues to a post-Labor Day school start to privatizing liquor control and the importance of bipartisanship.

In the audience were elected leaders, including County Executive Isiah Leggett and Council President Nancy Floreen, county planners, and business leaders.

“I think it was a healthy discussion,” said Hogan after the event. “We covered a lot of the important issues and I think we found a lot of common ground.”

During his remarks about Marriott’s decision to stay in Maryland and funding for the Purple Line, Hogan touted his working relationship with Leggett.

“The county executive has been a great guy to work with,” said Hogan. “I met with him right after I was elected, way before I was sworn in. I came and had breakfast with him. We hit it off. We have worked together on a number of issues. Marriott was just the most recent one…I think he has done a great job and he’s been terrific to work with.”

During the program, Franchot joked that they should take the show on the road to highlight how elected leaders can work together to get things done.

In an interview after the chamber event, Franchot said he agrees with the governor on a number of issues that, he said, most people in Montgomery County support.

“Privatizing the liquor system; getting the Metro system back on healthy, safe operating grounds, improving customer service; funding the pension; starting school after Labor Day; lots of common sense, non-Republican, non-Democratic, non-partisanship issues that people care about,” said Franchot.

The President and CEO of The Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce, Ginanne Italiano, said two of the topics discussed at this event that are extremely important to the Bethesda business crowd are funding for the Metro and the future of the Purple Line.

Even though she didn’t agree with everything she heard from the state leaders, Italiano said she enjoyed the event.

“I thought it was fantastic. It is enlightening for all of us in the business community to see two of our top leaders in the state to be good friends but also working together. It gives you hope,” said Italiano. “A lot of people came up to me after the event and said this was one of the best events they had been to because it really made them feel good walking out, knowing we have these great leaders running our state and that they can work together across party aisles.”

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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 or reach her on Twitter @SonyaNBurke.


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